Just before Easter weekend, President Obama signed an Executive Order to move forward his gun control agenda, giving federal agents greater access to information on gun owners and their weapons. From The Hill:
The executive steps will give federal law enforcement officials access to more data about guns and their owners, help keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill, and lay the groundwork for future legislative efforts.
Despite minimal publicity given to the Executive Order itself – it was signed late on a Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend – the order authorizes a million dollar ad campaign for gun safety. New York Mayor Bloomberg has expressed support for the campaign, which could mirror his own gun control ads.
The order adds to a recent announcement of a new $20 million Department of Justice program that offers grants to states that provide more mental health and criminal history information to federal databases.
As part of President Obama’s comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence, the Administration is committed to enhancing and strengthening the national criminal record system in support of stronger firearm background checks.
The order also directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – whose area of expertise has more to do with small pox than small arms – to study “causes of gun violence.” The Institute of Medicine has been awarded the contract despite the fact Congress has blocked funding allowing the CDC to conduct gun control research since 1996.
Between redirecting funds to areas specifically banned by Congress, using other funds for government-sponsored commercials, and encouraging states – with money – to share more information about their citizens, it’s not surprising President Obama did this when no one was looking.