Obama to announce gun control measures

2016-01-05 17:46


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Washington - President Barack Obama will announce a plan on Tuesday to keep guns away from those who shouldn't have them, bypassing the Republican-led Congress in his efforts to curb what he has described a scourge of gun violence in the US.

The measures fall far short of what Obama had hoped to accomplish through legislation after a massacre at a Connecticut elementary school shook the country in 2012. Yet even the more modest steps the president will announce rely on murky interpretations of existing law that could be easily reversed by his successor.

Obama's actions ensure that gun rights - one of the most bitterly divisive issues in America - will be at the forefront of the 2016 presidential campaign, which begins in earnest with the first primary contests next month.

Accusing Obama of gross overreach, many of the Republican presidential candidates have vowed to rip up the new gun restrictions upon taking office. Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton said she was proud of Obama's efforts and promised she would safeguard them.

A spate of appalling mass shootings has inflamed passions in the US over the subject of guns.

After 20 children and six educators were killed in Sandy Hook Elementary school in Connecticut three years ago, Obama sought far-reaching, bipartisan gun legislation. When the effort collapsed in the Senate, the White House said it was thoroughly researching the president's powers to identify every legal step he could take on his own.

More recent gun-related atrocities, including in San Bernardino, California, have spurred the administration to give the issue another look, as Obama seeks to make good on a policy issue that he's elevated time and again but has failed until now to advance.

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