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How Many Gun Laws Did Obama Sign?

List and Explanation of Gun Control Bills


The manager of Dave's Guns holds a Colt AR-15
Thomas Cooper/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Barack Obama has been called the "most anti-gun president in American history." Fears that Obama would try to ban guns fueled record sales of weapons during his presidency. But how many gun laws did Obama sign? And did any of them actually place restrictions on gun owners?

Gun Laws Signed By Obama

During his first term Obama didn't call for any major new restriction on guns or gun owners. Instead he urged authorities to enforce the state and federal laws already on the books.

In fact, Obama signed only two major laws that address how guns are carried in America, and both actually expand the rights of gun owners.

One of the laws allows gun owners to carry weapons in national parks; that law took effect in February 2012 and replaced President Ronald Reagan's policy of required guns be locked in glove compartments of trunks of car that enter national parks.

Another gun law signed by Obama allows Amtrak passengers to carry guns in checked baggage, a move that reversed a measure put in place after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Obama often mentions the expansion of gun rights under those two laws. He wrote in 2011:

"In this country, we have a strong tradition of gun ownership that's handed from generation to generation. Hunting and shooting are part of our national heritage. And, in fact, my administration has not curtailed the rights of gun owners - it has expanded them, including allowing people to carry their guns in national parks and wildlife refuges."

Obama has repeatedly express support for the Second Amendment. "If you’ve got a rifle, you’ve got a shotgun, you’ve got a gun in your house, I’m not taking it away. Alright?" Obama has said.

National Rifle Association Criticism in 2008 Election

During the 2008 presidential campaign the NRA Political Victory Fund mailed out tens of thousands of brochures to gun owners and like-minded voters that accused Obama of lying about his position on gun control.

The brochure read:

"Barack Obama would be the most anti-gun president in American history. Senator Obama says 'words matter.' But when it comes to your Second Amendment rights, he refuses to speak honestly about where he stands. In fact, Obama hides behind carefully chosen words and vague statements of support for sportsmen and gun rights to sidestep and camouflage the truth."

National Rifle Association Criticism in 2012 Election

Even though the president didn't sign a single bill into law limiting the use or purchase of guns during his first term the NRA Political Victory Fund continued to warn its members and like-minded voters during the 2012 election that Obama would make weapons a target in a second term.

"If Barack Obama wins a second term in office, our Second Amendment freedom will not survive. Obama will never have to face the voters again, and will therefore be unleashed to push the most extreme elements of his gun-ban agenda to every corner of America."

The NRA Political Victory Fund also falsely claimed that Obama had agreed to give the United Nations authority over the guns owned by Americans. "Obama has already endorsed moving ahead toward a U.N. gun ban treaty and will likely sign it after it’s negotiated," the group said.

Second Term Agenda on Guns

Obama made curtailing gun violence a central theme of his second-term agenda after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012. The president signed executive orders calling for mandatory criminal background checks on gun-buyers and several other measures that were unpopular in Congress including a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

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