KXXV: Local representatives react to president's announcement on gun control
By: Anthony J. Garcia
Obama spoke about a number of executive actions he would be implementing in an effort to prevent gun violence. They included requiring all gun sellers to run background checks, more FBI staff to run checks, access to mental health care and improvements in gun safety technology.
Senator John Cornyn says while he's saddened by horrific acts of mass violence that have struck, the measures announced by the president threaten constitutional rights and would not solve the problem.
“An unwillingness to find common ground and achieve compromise has been a hallmark of this President’s tenure, and this issue is unfortunately no different. Rather than unilaterally impose a gun control agenda that’s unlawful and strips the constitutional rights of elderly Americans, the President should better enforce current law and work with Congress on legislation reforming our mental health system."
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick says the president's executive actions were "overreaching."
"The president may not personally like it, but we have the constitutional right to protect ourselves, our families and our businesses," Patrick said. "If the president's goal is to sincerely help protect Americans he should make it easier to legally purchase, train and use their weapons of choice for protection than trot out phony new regulations to stand in their way."
Texas State District Representative Roger Williams expressed his concern with the president's announcement in relation to the second amendment.
“From his first day in office this president has made it clear he has an anti-gun agenda,” said Williams. “President Obama must go by the constitution, not around the constitution, and I certainly will not let him prevent law abiding citizens from practicing one of their most important rights.”
The White House announced Monday that Obama's executive actions included closing loopholes for gun show and online sales that have allowed firearms to be sold without background checks. It also requires background checks for people who purchase "some of the most dangerous weapons," like machine guns and sawed-off shotguns, through a trust or corporation.
In addition, the White House said the FBI would hire 230 more staff members to help process background checks, and steps would be taken to modernize the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. States will be encouraged to improve the sharing of criminal records and disqualifying mental health reasons with the background check system.
Matt Quillen contributed to this report.
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