Defense Department To Play A Part In New Gun Control Measures

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Army photo by SSG Michael R. Zuk

Under President Obama’s new gun control plan, the Defense Department will be tasked with providing research on gun safety technology in order to reduce the frequency of accidental discharge or unauthorized use of firearms.


For the Defense Department specifically, this will mean looking into “smart gun” technology.

According to the White House fact sheet on the issue, the president has also directed the departments to review the availability of smart gun technology on a regular basis, and to explore potential ways to further its use and development to more broadly improve gun safety.

The controversial new laws, which were signed as an executive order, are part of a broader attempt to circumvent congressional inaction on the issue of gun violence.

In a press conference on Jan. 4, Obama said, “We have tens of thousands of people every single year who are killed by guns. We have suicides that are committed by firearms at a rate that far exceeds other countries. We have a frequency of mass shootings that far exceeds other countries.”

Obama's orders back heavier research into gun control technology and instruct the Defense Department to expand the use of it, where “consistent with operational needs.”

The plan goes on to say that the Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security departments “must prepare a report outlining a research-and-development strategy designed to expedite the real-world deployment of such technology for use in practice.”

Overall, Obama’s series of executive orders expects to tackle gun violence by mandating better tracking of firearms sales, creating thorough background checks for gun buyers, providing more funding for mental illness treatment and employing federal personnel to oversee implementation.

Watch Task & Purpose's brief on "smart gun" tech.

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein testify before the Senate Appropriations Committee for Defense June 21, 2017, in Washington, D.C. The subcommittee hearing was held to discuss the fiscal year 2018 budget request for the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

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