SUNSHINE STATE NEWS
Gun Groups, Florida Politicians React to Obama's Executive Order on Gun Control
By ALLISON NIELSEN
President Barack Obama issued an executive order to help prevent gun violence on Tuesday, setting off a chain of reactions from politicians, gun rights activists and gun control groups alike, all of whom had something to say about the president’s big step to fight against mass shootings in the U.S.
Under Obama’s executive action, background checks would be expanded for potential gun buyers, a measure aimed to keep guns out of the hands of those who might use them to commit violence.
The move has been lauded by some and criticized by others who believe the president is overstepping his boundaries and infringing on Second Amendment rights.
Here’s what they’re saying:
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., Democratic National Committee Chair
“I congratulate President Obama for taking the responsible and necessary course to use every tool at his disposal to curb gun violence. In the meantime, Republican congressional leaders and Republican presidential candidates continue to do the bidding of the gun lobby and oppose commonsense measures to reduce the 30,000 gun deaths per year in our country.
Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam
“Our right to bear arms is enshrined in our U.S. Constitution, yet President Obama has again circumvented Congress with this executive action, infringing on law-abiding Americans’ Second Amendment rights.
“In Florida, where our population has soared to 20 million and we have 1.4 million concealed weapon licenses, our crime rate is at a 44-year-low.
“Due to this overreaching executive action, we anticipate a surge in the number of applications for concealed weapon licenses in Florida, and we are preparing to meet this increased demand.”
Josh Horwitz, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence executive director
The Executive Orders announced by President Obama today are a positive step toward making our communities safer. While this Congress continues to sit on its hands and do nothing to prevent the next gun-related tragedy, this President showed real leadership and took decisive action to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. All those who are sick and tired of seeing American families destroyed by gun violence owe the Administration a debt of gratitude.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
“[The order] undermines the Second Amendment and it would do nothing to keep people safe. Barack Obama is obsessed with undermining the Second Amendment...he’s been doing this forever. Now this executive order is just one more way to mae it harder for law-abiding people to buy weapons or to be able to protect their families.”
U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla.
“With our nation facing an average of 31 gun-related deaths each day, the need for action to curb gun violence could not be more clear or urgent. What the President announced today will not infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens but will help save lives and improve public safety,” said Murphy. “These common-sense measures have the support of a bipartisan majority of Americans and while this is a much-needed first step, it is disappointing that executive action was needed in the first place. Obstructionists in Congress have continually blocked gun violence prevention legislation despite broad support on both sides of the aisle and American families and communities deserve better.”
U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla.
“The President is employing false rhetoric about loopholes in our gun laws to stoke fear and as a means to placate his political base. To the contrary of President Obama's claims, existing gun sale laws and background check requirements apply just as much to gun shows as they do to any other place where guns are sold. The rare exceptions, which account for a very small fraction of overall gun sales, are limited to infrequent sales by collectors, bequests and transactions between private, non-federal firearm licensed individuals who reside in the same state. In fact, firearms are the most severely regulated consumer product in the U.S.
The National Rifle Association
“Once again, President Obama has chosen to engage in political rhetoric, instead of offering meaningful solutions to our nation's pressing problems. Today's event also represents an ongoing attempt to distract attention away from his lack of a coherent strategy to keep the American people safe from terrorist attack.
The American people do not need more emotional, condescending lectures that are completely devoid of facts. The men and women of the National Rifle Association take a back seat to no one when it comes to keeping our communities safe. But the fact is that President Obama's proposals would not have prevented any of the horrific events he mentioned. The timing of this announcement, in the eighth and final year of his presidency, demonstrates not only political exploitation but a fundamental lack of seriousness.
The proposed executive actions are ripe for abuse by the Obama Administration, which has made no secret of its contempt for the Second Amendment. The NRA will continue to fight to protect the fundamental, individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms as guaranteed under our Constitution. We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be harassed or intimidated for engaging in lawful, constitutionally-protected activity – nor will we allow them to become scapegoats for President Obama's failed policies.”
U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla.
“I support the President’s executive action to close the gun show loophole. And, frankly, I don’t understand why Congressional Republicans are complaining about it. To me, their arguments seem like nonsense…
“B-b-b-but what about the “slippery slope”?? Ah, yes, the slippery slope. Yes, I confess, preventing felons from buying guns sends us hurtling – no, careening – down that slippery slope, toward … personal safety.”