Two dozen U.S. senators have called on President Barack Obama to issue an executive order to reduce gun violence.

In a letter addressed to Obama, 24 senators urged the president "to investigate and pursue all possible options under his executive authority" to help ease gun violence.

In the letter, heavily supported and signed by Democrats, the senators said they want Obama to eliminate a loophole that allows people without a federal license to sell guns at gun shows, across the Internet and "elsewhere," other places that currently do not require a background check.

"We will continue to make every effort to build support for and demand a vote on legislation to improve background checks, close loopholes, and shut down the illegal pipeline of guns. We will not give up the fight to improve our nation's gun laws to reflect the broad agreement of gun owners and non-gun owners who want Congress to act to halt gun violence," wrote the senators.

Among the senators who signed the letter are Dick Durbin of Illinois, Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy of Connecticut, California's Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, Massachusetts' Elizabeth Warren, and New York's Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand  Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., the only Latino Democrat in the Senate, also signed the letter.

The 24 senators acknowledged that current laws allow licensed gun dealers to conduct background checks for all gun sales, and only individuals considered to be "engaged in the business" of guns dealings are required to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). But, the senators believe the definition of the phrase "engaged in the business" requires clarification. Otherwise, gun sales may occur without the need to perform background checks prior to completing a transaction.

"Updating the definition of 'engaged in the business' to provide more explicit guidance as to which gun sellers are required to obtain a federal firearms license would not impact a father giving a gun to his son, or an individual selling his gun on the Internet. But it will help ensure that individuals are not able to continue to exploit ambiguity in the current regulation and sell guns at a high volume without any oversight by ATF and without conducting background checks," the senators added.

The letter comes a little more than a month after 41 House Democrats wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. The House Democrats' letter requested a meeting with Lynch. According to Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., the House Republican leadership "shamefully refused" to act on preventing gun violence, especially in communities of color.

The Senate's letter, signed on Nov. 23, can be viewed here.


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