President Barack Obama hosted a town hall on Thursday night addressing his executive actions on gun reform at George Mason University in Virginia.
President Obama has announced several executive actions on gun restrictions, released a New York Times op-ed condemning his potential successors who do not support gun control, and participated in a town hall forum on primetime television to address the nation on the issue — just seven days into 2016.
As protesters lined outside of George Mason University, the president explained his plan to implement what he considers “commonsense gun laws” as well as protect the 2nd Amendment and the right to bear arms.
“What I’ve said consistently throughout my presidency is I respect the Second Amendment, I respect the right to bear arms, I respect people who want to have guns for self-protection, for hunting,” the president told participants. “Everybody agrees that it makes sense to keep guns out of the hands of people who want to do others harm or do themselves harm.”
CNN moderated the debate on Thursday and said that the National Rifle Association declined to participate in the conversation.
President Obama called the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, that took the lives of 20 children and six adults, the darkest time in his presidency. The president said that it was the only time he'd ever seen secret service members cry on duty.