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Mothers who’ve lost children to gun violence hoping Obama’s executive action tightens gun laws

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HARLEM — President Barack Obama took steps Monday to expand background checks for gun purchases made online and at gun shows.

The news was welcome relief for members of a New York City support group, Harlem Mothers Save. The group consists of mothers whose children were murdered in acts of gun violence.

“It’s about time,” Milagros Ortega said. Her son was murdered in Long Island City in 2013. His case still remains unsolved.

Dr. John Palmer, a clinical psychologist that works with the group, explained that many are anxious ahead of Obama’s speech scheduled for Tuesday morning. He said they are feeling “excitement on the one hand and fear that the actions are not going to be wide-ranging enough.”

White House officials said the administration wants to hire 200 new Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents to help enforce gun laws. Obama will also move to provide more funding for smart gun technology.

However, the executive action comes with criticism within the political-sphere. Republicans in Congress and several 2016 candidates have accused Obama of presidential overreach.