On Tuesday, President Barack Obama sent his proposed 2017 budget to Congress. Included in the $4.1 trillion plan is some $1.3 billion dedicated to gun control—most of it earmarked for the administration of his executive orders.
While the allocation of 230 additional FBI employees to handle NICS checks seems like it could be a positive thing, the list goes downhill quickly from there. A proposed $35 million would provide 200 additional ATF agents to “help enforce gun laws”—which, given Obama’s emphasis thus far on increasing prosecution of violent criminals, will most likely amount to ensnaring law-abiding gun owners in red tape. Funding for so-called “smart gun” research is also included, despite numerous and inherent issues with the technology. Finally, certain Social Security beneficiaries would be added to NICS as prohibited, some of whom simply need help with finances.
Republicans have voiced their opposition, and House Speaker Paul Ryan is expected to fight the proposed gun-control funding.