In the midst of what he has called “our epidemic of gun violence,” President Obama is contemplating using executive action to enforce more stringent regulations on firearm purchases — a move necessary in order to eschew Congress. And unsurprisingly, 2016 G.O.P. presidential candidates are piping up to condemn this move.
The New York Times reports that “the Republican presidential candidates hoping to succeed [Obama] are accusing him of abusing power and promising to reverse such measures if elected.” Depending on the outcome of Obama’s conferences with Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, these “measures” might include intensified background checks for those seeking to purchase firearms.
Here’s what some of the G.O.P. presidential hopefuls have to say, via the New York Times:
Chris Christie, on Fox News Sunday: “This president wants to act as if he’s a king, as if he’s a dictator. This is going to be another illegal executive action which I’m sure will be rejected by the courts and when I become president, will be stricken from executive action by executive action I will take.”
Jeb Bush, also on Fox News Sunday: “It’s wrong. To use executive power he doesn’t have is a pattern that is quite dangerous.”
Carly Fiorina argued on CNN that we already have laws in place that simply need to be more rigorously enforced: “We have long lists of criminals who own guns, who routinely purchase guns. We know who these people are, and we are not prosecuting any of them.”
And according to the Times, “Donald J. Trump said Sunday that Mr. Obama’s reliance on executive actions to deal with gun violence showed his inability to make deals with Congress and promised that he opposes anything that gets in the way of the Second Amendment.”
Trump assured attendees at a rally Saturday that he would eliminate any new gun regulations implemented by Obama. “I will veto,” he said. “I will unsign that so fast.”
In the meantime, President Obama will deliver his final State of the Union address on January 12, 2016. During that speech he will attend to, in his words, “one piece of unfinished business.”
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