With tears streaming down his face, President Obama vowed on Tuesday to curb the gun violence that has plagued the nation, with or without Congress. In his emotional speech, Obama outlined the executive action he is planning to place more restrictions on gun sales.
A key part of the new initiative would require more gun sellers to obtain licenses, meaning they’d then be required to conduct background checks on potential customers to weed out prohibited buyers. Another provision would require that any firearm lost in transit between a manufacturer and a seller would be reported to federal authorities.
The president said, though, that his measures wouldn’t be enough. “Congress still needs to act,” Obama said. “The folks in this room will not rest until Congress does. Because once Congress gets on board with common-sense gun safety measures, we can reduce gun violence a whole lot.”
Obama’s executive action immediately came under fire from guns rights advocates. The executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, Chris W. Cox, said, “the American people do not need more emotional, condescending lectures that are completely devoid of facts.”
As the gun control debate rages on in Washington, below are 19 facts that help explain how guns factor in to American life.
31: Percentage of American households that reported having a firearm in 2014, the lowest level of reported gun ownership in the last 40 years.