Immediately after President Barack Obama unveiled his executive actions to tighten control and enforcement of firearms in the U.S., Oklahoma lawmakers responded.
While Obama accused the gun lobby of taking Congress hostage, Oklahoma's attorney general and members of Congress accused the president of infringing on the Second Amendment rights of Americans.
Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK):
"In an effort to show off to his liberal base, Obama announced several executive actions on gun control that would not have prevented any of the mass shootings that he claims inspired this push. For months he has had his staff working night and day to find ways for him to push his gun control agenda unilaterally while we've been waiting years for any leadership or a clear strategy for the Middle East, ISIL and Syria. Ft. Hood, Chattanooga and San Bernardino were terrorist attacks that have happened here, in America, and we need to make sure that we are strengthening our borders, our visa programs and our surveillance of possible terror suspects before we try and curb Americans' 2nd Amendment rights when they need them the most."
Senator James Lankford (R-OK):
"All Americans, Republicans and Democrats alike, are broken-hearted by senseless acts of violence, especially towards children. As we grieve for those who are affected by violence, we must evaluate the root causes that lead to violence, like broken families, mental health, drug use and a culture that glorifies violence. Just like the 23 executive actions on guns the President released in 2013, the latest round of executive actions generally misses the root causes of violence in our culture.
“Law-abiding Americans have a constitutionally-protected right that has been upheld by the Highest Court in the land for decades. A President who aggressively demeans the rights of law-abiding citizens fails to achieve real policy goals, and actually increases the sales of guns and ammunition since people are rightfully concerned about the future of their Second Amendment rights."
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt:
“As the state’s chief legal officer, I am concerned about public safety and strongly support efforts to reduce gun violence in our communities. However, the President’s executive actions appear unconnected to the types of tragic shootings he cited as the rationale for his actions. Congress has considered and rejected many of these proposals. Yet, the President is once again trying to bypass Congress to unilaterally impose his political agenda. The President instead should work with Congress on substantive reforms that reduce gun violence while still preserving the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their families. We should never sacrifice liberty and the rule of law in the name of symbolism or expediency.”
Congressman Jim Bridenstine, (R-OK):
"Today, President Obama once again usurped the legislative power of Congress by executive overreach. The President’s gun control executive actions will infringe on the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans, but do nothing to prevent gun crime and mass shootings. I am confident that his proposals will be challenged in court and ultimately vacated.
"Obama’s new executive actions on gun control would have not prevented mass shooting tragedies from Columbine to San Bernardino.
"The executive actions broaden guidance on who must obtain a firearms license while being deliberately vague in defining who will be considered a gun dealer. This will give federal agents undue power and make people reluctant to engage in gun transactions for fear of being selected for politically-motivated prosecution. The actions not only violate 2nd Amendment rights to keep and bear arms but also 4th Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.
"Additionally, the President plans to prohibit certain Social Security recipients from legally owning firearms. In response, I will co-sponsor legislation (H.R. 3126) to prohibit the Social Security Commissioner from turning over social security numbers to the Justice Department-run gun background check system."
Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK):
“President Obama’s plan to circumvent Congress is not only unconstitutional, his gun control plan shows utter disregard for the powers entrusted to each branch of government,” said Cole. “Further, his proposal would do absolutely nothing to prevent deranged criminals from committing horrific crimes. In fact, the president’s plan instead infringes upon the rights of law-abiding citizens and needlessly punishes those who haven’t committed any crimes. This hostility toward the Second Amendment has been an unfortunate hallmark of his presidency.
“Most Americans understand that guns are tools that must be used responsibly, whether for recreational use or the protection of our families and property. While the president is clearly frustrated by his inability to push through legislation that is consistent with his extreme anti-gun ideology, that is no excuse for bypassing Congress by issuing constitutionally-dubious executive orders. I am confident that his latest actions will be successfully challenged by Congress and litigated in court."
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