Gun-control advocates said they expect the White House to begin pushing through an assortment of gun restrictions in coming months, reports the Washington Examiner. President Obama rarely talked about guns during his re-election campaign, and when he did, it was mostly to reassure voters he had no plans to take away their constitutionally protected firearms. On the activists' wish list is a ban on assault weapons, mandatory background checks for gun buyers, and the closing of private-sale loopholes. "I expect President Obama to take the lead on closing the gaping hole in our 'system' for keeping guns from criminals, underage youth and other prohibited persons," said Daniel Webster of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. "The federal government's failure to require all gun sellers to verify that prospective gun owners have passed a background check before transferring a firearm is the single biggest flaw in the current system."
Gun sales soared to record levels since Obama took office, even though the president didn't impose additional gun restrictions in his first term. Gun-control advocates predicted the U.S. may be more open to gun restrictions after the high-profile shootings in an Aurora, Co., movie theater last summer and the last weekend's murder-suicide involving a professional football player. "I am certain Obama thinks our gun laws are insane, and he doesn't ever have to run for office again," said Ladd Everitt of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. "It won't be lost on many people that a sportscaster was willing to speak out about the issue but Obama hasn't found the guts to take on Republicans yet." Everitt said White House aides have privately assured gun-control advocates that the president would tackle the issue in his second term but didn't commit to specific proposals. The lone gun restriction Obama explicitly backed during this year's campaign was a ban on assault weapons that expired in 2004.