Obama Signs Executive Order Banning Sale of Assault Rifles – Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
It’s been reported that President Obama has signed an executive order banning the sale of assault rifles in the aftermath of the Orlando terrorist attack.
A fake news website is behind false reports that President Obama has taken executive action to ban the sale of assault rifles
That story appeared at a fake news website that is mocked up to look like ABC News under the headline, “President Obama Signs Executive Order Banning the Sale of Assault Weapons.”
The story begins:
WASHINGTON D.C. (AP) — After Sunday’s mass shooting in Orlando, which left 50 Americans dead and 53 wounded, President Obama decided to take unilateral action on gun control by signing Executive Order 13691. The new law bans all sales of assault weapons and places a mandatory 30 day waiting period on all firearm sales, regardless of whether the transaction takes place at a gun dealership or gun show. The requirement also extends to private sales and requires all private firearm sellers to broker the sale through a federally licensed gun dealer. The order requires prospective gun buyers to undergo a psychological evaluation. Individuals who have been committed involuntarily to a mental health institution at any time; those who have been voluntarily committed with the past 5 years; anyone with a domestic violence restraining order, regardless of criminal history; and anyone who has been placed on the no-fly list or terrorist watch listat any time within the past 10 years will not be allowed to purchase or possess firearms.
The story was widely circulated on social media, and the fake news website’s resemblance to ABC News tricked many into believing that report was true, but that’s not the case.
The website uses a classic trick to scam readers into believing its an official ABC News website: a subtle “.co” is added to the end of ABC New’s official website URL, which is very easy to miss at first glance.
If that wasn’t enough, the fake news story cites Executive Order 13691 as the one that the president signed to ban the sale of assault rifles — but a quick read of that executive order reveals that it’s not about assault rifles or any other guns. It’s about cybersecurity information sharing.
President Obama did, however, sign an executive order related to gun violence into law in January — but it didn’t ban the sale of assault rifles or any other guns.
Rather, the executive action stated that the ATF was finalizing a rule requiring a background check for all gun purchases, ordering federal prosecutors to focus on “smart enforcement” of gun laws, increasing mental health treatment and adding it to the background check system, and sponsoring gun safety technology.
In the executive order, the president stated that he was committed to using “every tool at the Administration’s disposal” to reduce gun violence, but he noted that many problems could only be fixed through legislation:
The President and Vice President are committed to using every tool at the Administration’s disposal to reduce gun violence. Some of the gaps in our country’s gun laws can only be fixed through legislation, which is why the President continues to call on Congress to pass the kind of commonsense gun safety reforms supported by a majority of the American people. And while Congress has repeatedly failed to take action and pass laws that would expand background checks and reduce gun violence, today, building on the significant steps that have already been taken over the past several years, the Administration is announcing a series of commonsense executive actions designed to:
And Obama talked about making it harder for people who “want to kill Americans” to get their hands on assault riffles in his weekly radio address right before this fake news report went viral, but he didn’t announce any plans to ban the sale of assault rifles through executive order:
Alongside the stories of bravery and healing and coming together over the past week, we’ve also seen a renewed focus on reducing gun violence. As I said a few days ago, being tough on terrorism requires more than talk. Being tough on terrorism, particularly the sorts of homegrown terrorism that we’ve seen now in Orlando and San Bernardino, means making it harder for people who want to kill Americans to get their hands on assault weapons that are capable of killing dozens of innocents as quickly as possible. That’s something I’ll continue to talk about in the weeks ahead.
Given all that, we’re calling this one fiction.