FoxNews has published a list of the executive actions that President Obama plans to take regarding gun control. This list is as released from the White House to the media. It is not yet published on the White House’s website.
Looking over it quickly, No. 14 on the list – directing the CDC to investigate the causes of “gun violence” (sic) – has been prohibited by Congress in their appropriations bills if I remember correctly. No. 18 on the list – hiring more school resource officers – is interesting given Obama’s criticism of the NRA’s proposal for more armed guards. With regard to health care privacy, Obama is opening a big can of worms that will have many unintended consequences. People will be less likely to seek help for mental health issues such as depression. Moreover, I see many strained physician-patient relationships over guns. If my own internist were to ask, I’d tell her to mind her own business unless she were trained in gun safety.
1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.
3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.
4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.
5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.
6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.
7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).
9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.
10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.
11. Nominate an ATF director.
12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.
13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.
15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.
16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.
17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.
18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.
19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.
20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.
21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.
22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.
23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.
UPDATE: Sebastian at Shall Not Be Infringed examines this list and gives his response to some of these proposals. I would tend to agree this is not as bad as we foresaw but a lot will depend upon how it is implemented. Never forget that implementation is policy.
UPDATE II: Daddy Bear gives his response to the list including a good fisking of many of them.
UPDATE III: Here is a PDF from the White House that gives the entire list plus the legislative proposals as well as their rationale for it.