On 31 January 2016, social media users began spreading an article reporting that President Obama had issued an executive order limiting Americans to ownership of three guns each:
In a move that promises to permanently transform the political landscape in the United States, President Obama has signed Executive Order 13752, an order which will radically change the way the United States regulates all weapons. President Obama claims that his authority to draft this order comes from the second amendment: “If you look at the second amendment, you’ll see that it says that ‘a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state.’ Well, when I see kids getting shot at school and people gunning down their coworkers, I don’t see a well-regulated militia. I don’t see a state that is secure in its freedom. I see a nation in crisis. I see a country in desperate need of reform. If you want to exercise your right to bear arms, that’s fine, but if you want to do that, you should be ready and able to defend your country at a moment’s notice.”
Under the new law, nearly every gun in the U.S. will be required to be registered. There are exceptions for single and double barrel shotguns, single shot and double barrel hunting rifles, black powder guns, and any gun made before 1932. No U.S. citizen will be allowed to have more than three guns registered to them at any time. Possession of an unregistered firearm, expect those exempted from registration, will be a felony that carries a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in federal prison. States that refuse to enforce the new laws will lose federal highway and Medicaid funding.
There was no truth to this story, however. This bit of fiction originated with fake news site that illegally appropriates the appearance and domain name of a legitimate news organization (ABC News) in order to generate traffic and advertising revenues by creating and spreading fabricated “news” stories.