WASHINGTON, D.C. – Flanked by leading democrats, President Barack Obama signed an executive order today placing “smart” restrictions on federal and state gun laws. The order, intended to curb accessibility to dangerous weapons, is the first of its kind issued by a U.S. president.
“Let me be clear, this is not an attempt to ban or confiscate firearms,” Obama said before signing the order into law. “The Second Amendment is and always will be protected under the United States Constitution. This is simply a measure designed to curb gun violence in this country. It is necessary and is something Congress has failed time and time again to do.”
Titled the Common Sense Act of 2015, the order, rather than ban a specific type of weapon, reduces the ease and accessibility of obtaining certain firearms. Further, under the new law, high-capacity magazines, described as “any magazine or clip capable of holding eleven or more rounds” are now restricted to law enforcement use only. “There is no logical reason why a civilian should be in possession of a high-capacity magazine,” President Obama said.
In order to be eligible to purchase any pistol, shotgun, or long gun that can be described as a “semi-automatic weapon,” prospective buyers must first undergo a psychological evaluation by a licensed psychologist. If deemed mentally competent, each patient will receive a signed letter from their psychologist which must be presented along with proof of citizenship and residency at their state’s department of motor vehicles.
In addition to the necessary documentation, the federal government will levy a non-refundable $250 “processing fee” similar in nature to the existing tax required to purchase weapons and devices that fall under the National Firearms Act. After a seven-day waiting period, if approved, an authorized DMV official will provide the applicant with a government-issued Firearms Purchasing Permit which must be presented when purchasing a weapon through a federally licensed firearms dealer.
“Let’s face it, these weapons are designed for one purpose, to extinguish life,” Obama said. “If you’re living in the United States of America and you absolutely have to possess a semi-automatic weapon, you’re going to need to prove without a doubt that you are mentally and psychologically fit to do so.”
The Common Sense Act of 2015 comes amid a spate of mass shootings that continue to plague the nation and have claimed the lives of more than 379 people so far this year. In order to allow state officials time to become acclimated with the new policy, the act will officially go into effect nationwide on October 20, 2015.