President Barack Obama is expected to announce in the coming days a new executive action with the goal of expanding background checks on gun sales, people familiar with White House planning said.
Described as “imminent,” the set of executive actions would fulfill a promise by the President to take further unilateral steps the White House says could help curb gun deaths.
Planning for the action are not yet complete, and those familiar with the process warn that unforeseen circumstances could delay an announcement. But gun control advocates are expecting the new actions to be revealed next week, ahead of Obama’s annual State of the Union address, set for January 12.
The White House wouldn’t comment directly on the exact timing or content of Obama’s executive orders. White House spokesman Eric Schultz said that the President expected a set of recommendations on unilateral action to arrive at the beginning of the year.
He said Obama was “expressing urgency” for a list of steps he can take on his own after high-profile incidents of gun violence at the end of this year.
“It is complicated. That’s why it’s taken some time for our policy folks, our lawyers, and our expects to work through this and see what’s possible,” Schultz said.
Gun control advocates and White House officials say the focus remains on the so-called “gun show loophole,” which allows certain sellers of guns — at gun shows and elsewhere — to avoid conducting background checks before making sales.
Read more: CNN