US Jewish groups back Obama on gun control initiatives

With his executive actions, Obama is directing federal agencies to take the steps he proposed.

January 6, 2016 01:25
2 minute read.
US President Barack Obama

US President Barack Obama sheds a tear while delivering a statement on steps the administration is taking to reduce gun violence in the East Room of the White House. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Jewish groups praised new executive actions by President Barack Obama to reduce gun violence.

On Tuesday, in an emotional White House address accompanied by victims of gun violence, Obama announced a series of measures that include broadening the definition of a business under existing gun control laws, addressing loopholes that allow some gun sellers to skirt background check requirements; making gun sellers more accountable for guns that are lost or stolen while in their possession; increasing support for the development of gun safety technology, and increasing funds for mental health.

“Today, background checks are required at gun stores - if a father wants to teach his daughter how to hunt, he can walk into a gun store, get a background check, purchase his weapon safely and responsibly,” Obama said. “The problem is some gun sellers have been operating under a different set of rules. A violent felon can buy the exact same weapon over the Internet with no background check, no questions asked.”

Representatives of the National Council of Jewish Women, Jewish Women International and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the umbrella body for Jewish public policy groups, were present at the announcement of the initiatives. They were among an array of groups including the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center and its Central Conference of American Rabbis that praised the actions.

With his executive actions, Obama is directing federal agencies to take the steps he proposed.

“These proposals are a step forward,” said Jared Feldman, the JCPA’s Washington director. “They are clearly insufficient to the magnitude of the problem. We’re going to need Congress to engage - and engage substantively - on these issues.”

Obama has failed to advance gun-control legislation through the Republican-led Congress. Republican leaders suggested in statements Tuesday that his actions were unconstitutional, and several of the party’s presidential candidates said they would roll back the actions as soon as they were elected.

The president wiped away tears as he recalled the 2012 massacre of first-graders in Newtown, Connecticut, by a lone gunman.
“Every time I think about those kids it gets me madder,” Obama said.

Among those on hand for the announcement was Gabrielle Giffords, the former Jewish Arizona congresswoman who survived a shooting attack in a Tucson suburb in 2011. Since then, the Jewish lawmaker has led advocacy for gun control.

The National Council of Jewish Women, which has been advocating for gun control since 1969, would continue to work on the state level, said its CEO, Nancy Kaufman.

“We still hold out hope the Congress will understand they need to do something,” she said, but added that the most effective route now seemed to be to advance background checks and gun trafficking on the state level.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Rachel Brosnahan and Alex Borstein in 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.'
March 18, 2019
'Mrs. Maisel' begins production on season three