Senior congressional aides and sources in the gun-control community expect the White House to use its executive powers to tighten federal gun laws shortly after President Barack Obama returns from a Hawaiian vacation in early January.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday he anticipates a legal review to continue through the holidays.
Since the deadly shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., White House officials have been, as Earnest has put it, “scrubbing through the law” to determine whether and how Obama can use his constitutional authorities to make it harder for terrorists and other potential mass shooters to legally obtain firearms.
On both sides of the Capitol, sources involved in the guns debate say, as one senior House GOP leadership aide put it, “something is brewing on guns.”
The hot-button issue returned to the front burner of American politics following the lethal Islamic State-inspired California shooting.
Since, however, Republican lawmakers have blocked Democratic measures on stiffening gun laws; and Democrats have kept a mental health bill the GOP has tied to mass shootings from passing, saying they would rather close loopholes in gun laws first.