The Obama administration announced plans Tuesday to allow local governments to seize guns from those who are not in compliance with local laws, a move that critics say could result in gun confiscations that are unfair and could endanger public safety.
The executive action also allows the federal government to collect information about the firearms that are seized from individuals, as long as the information is “relevant” to a federal law enforcement investigation.
The moves are expected to be hailed by gun control advocates who say it will allow for a more effective gun buybacks program than the one President Barack Obama has used since he took office.
Gun control advocates say that under Obama, the government has been overly aggressive in seizing guns from gun owners, but have not been able to effectively track how many guns have been seized, and how many have been sold.
Some of the data released by the White House shows that since Obama took office in 2009, the Justice Department has seized more than 7 million guns from individuals who have not committed crimes.
The administration says it is using that data to make recommendations for how to strengthen federal laws on gun ownership, and the move is expected to draw a response from some conservative groups.
The Obama administration has already taken action to help curb gun violence, but many gun control supporters have been critical of the administration’s strategy, saying it fails to go far enough.