How to watch Obama's town hall: Guns in America

Story highlights

  • Obama will sit down with CNN's Anderson Cooper
  • CNN will broadcast Guns in America exclusively.

Washington (CNN)President Barack Obama has long voiced his frustration with Congress' refusal to pass gun control legislation during his tenure, and in his final year in office, he has decided to go it alone.

Obama will sit down with CNN's Anderson Cooper this Thursday in Fairfax, Virginia, at George Mason University for a town hall event focused on the White House's executive action on guns.
Here is everything you need to know about the event, titled "Guns in America."

What action is Obama taking on guns?

    In the wake of repeated mass shootings, the President has sought to use the power of the bully pulpit to address what he has called a common sense solution to gun violence -- significant gun control legislation. Supporters of gun rights, and ultimately, Congress, have successfully blocked all of these attempts.
    As Obama winds down his last term in office, he has decided to do what he can on gun control outside of the legislative process. Like his executive orders on immigration and energy, he has now decided to issue orders on guns.
    In an emotional address in the East Room of the White House on Tuesday, Obama announced those orders would include measures to expand background checks on gun purchases, reports of missing weapons and mental health care.

    When and where will it be?

    "Guns in America" will be on Thursday, January 7th at 8:00 p.m. ET in George Mason University, a school outside of Washington in Fairfax, Virginia.
    The timing of this event is significant, not only because it comes before Obama's final State of the Union address, but because it will mark five years since a mass shooting where six people were killed and severely wounded then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, in addition to 12 others.

    How can I watch it?

    CNN will broadcast Guns in America exclusively. The hour-long event is slated to begin at 8:00 p.m. ET. It will available on CNNGo. CNN Politics will also offer instant analysis in a live-blog available on

    How will it work?

    CNN's Anderson Cooper will ask the President several questions, including a deeper discussion of Obama's executive actions on guns announced Tuesday. The President will also take questions from the invited audience.
    The audience will consist of stakeholders on both sides of the debate over guns. It will include several dozen people who advocate for more gun control and several dozen who advocate on behalf of Second Amendment rights, and largely oppose additional gun control measures. Gabby Giffords is expected to be in attendance. Since Giffords' shooting five years ago, she and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, have pushed for gun control legislation, founding the advocacy organization Americans for Responsible Solutions. Taya Kyle, a strong Second Amendment Advocate and the widow of the Navy Seal Chris Kyle, is also expected to be in the audience.