Obama’s gun control plan won’t have big impact on Colorado, expert says

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DENVER -- President Obama says he's tired of waiting for Congress to address gun control, and he’s now planning to move forward on his own as soon as next week.

During his first radio address of the new year, President Obama said he plans to take executive action on gun control, but a Colorado expert on the issue says it likely won’t have a big impact here.

From the Aurora theater shooting to the attacks in San Bernardino, President Obama says he’s tired of making speeches and waiting for Congress to act.

"Congress still hasn't done anything to stop what happened to (the victims) from happening to other families," Mr. Obama said.

The President specifically highlighted failed efforts to reform the laws requiring background checks.

"On Monday, I will meet with our attorney general, Loretta Lynch, to discuss our options because I get too many letters from parents, and teachers, and kids, to sit around and do nothing," President Obama said.

“If they think background checks give security, it`s a false sense of security,” said Robert Wareham, an attorney for The Law Center in Littleton.

Wareham says even if the President succeeds pushing through reforms, it wouldn't expand background checks in Colorado because state legislators already did that three years ago.

“'You have to handle your transfer through a Federal Firearms Licensee,” Wareham said, referencing Colorado’s law which requires background checks even on private sales. “That's not that way in every state, so it could have an impact on those states."

And Wareham says Colorado's new background check law is also proof that the impact would be minimal at best.

“It`s really an honor system because there's no way of knowing whether you did (conduct a background check) or not,” Wareham said.

President Obama says that doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying.

"We know we can't stop every act of violence, but what if we tried to stop even one?” Obama said. “What if Congress did something, anything, to protect our kids from gun violence?"

Even if the reforms have minimal impact, Wareham says the President may be overstepping his authority by attempting to accomplish his goals with executive order instead of working with Congress.

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