Politics

As Candidate In 2008, President Obama Promised Tougher Gun Laws

We’ve been down this road before.

President Barack Obama wipes his eye as he talks about the Connecticut elementary school shooting, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, in the White House briefing room in Washington. Carolyn Kaster / AP

During his first year in office President Obama signed into law more repeals of federal gun policies than President George W. Bush did during his eight years in office, according to the Brady Campaign. The President, speaking after the tragic shooting in Connecticut that took the lives of 20 children said “meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this.”

But the President has failed to live up to a promise he made during his first campaign for the presidency during which, he said in an interview with the Chicago Sun Times that he would push for stronger gun laws.

Sun Times: Is there anything the federal, state, or local government can do?

Senator Obama: “There’s a bunch of things we can do. I’ve already said as president I want to restore [federal] COPS funding, which will put police on the streets. Additional police improves public safety. New York has seen a huge drop in crime over the last decade, more than even other cities, and part of it is they’ve got more cops than anybody else per capita. We’ve got to help local communities put more police on the streets. We want to make sure we provide state and local government with the targeting information they need, the technology they need to make sure police are going to the places most at risk for gun violence. We’ve got to tighten up our gun laws. I’ve said before we should have a much tougher background check system, one that’s much more effective and make sure there aren’t loopholes out there like the gun show loophole. [Or] The Tiahart Amendment [requiring destruction of gun-purchase records.] Here’s an example of something common-sense: The ATF [Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms] should be able to share info with local communities about where guns are coming from, tracing guns that are used in criminal activity. It’s been blocked consistently in Congress. As president, I’m gong to make sure we know if guns are being sold by unscrupulous gun dealers not abiding by existing laws. We should know about that.”

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