An executive order has been issued today by President Barack Obama that would expand background checks for those who want to buy firearms and restrict online and gun show sales. Almost anyone who sells guns for a living would have to register as a firearms dealer.
In the President’s speech today, he mentioned the repeal of a Missouri law in 2007 restricting gun purchases.
“…since Missouri repealed a law requiring comprehensive background checks and purchase permits, gun deaths have increased to an almost 50 percent higher than the national average,” Obama said. “One study found, unsurprisingly, that criminals in Missouri now have easier access to guns.”
Southeast Missouri Republican Congressman Jason Smith disagrees with the President’s statement about Missouri.
“In calling out Missouri this President is using his soapbox to try and politicize events and claw back rights promised to every
American by the U.S. Constitution. In 2015, the facts are that places like Washington, D.C. had nearly 4 times more gun related deaths than the 8th district of Missouri and cities like Baltimore, New York, and Chicago that promote gun free zones have seen a dramatic increase in gun related violence,” said Smith.
The executive actions are within his legal authority, the president said Monday after a meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey and other U.S. law enforcement officials.
Northern Missouri Republican Congressman Sam Graves disagrees and said lawsuits are likely being filed already.
“This President continues to want to push these things through executive orders. This is a President that wants in the worst way wants to be a dictator and he just can’t do it given the way our country is set up.”
East-central Missouri Democratic Congressman Lacy Clay said the President’s action addresses some of the country’s “glaring problems with access to firearms”. He also said Missouri is the poster child for what is wrong with gun regulations.
“Especially when you see the state Legislature moving toward liberalizing access to sophisticated and high-powered weaponry, it is time for the national government to address some of those ills,” said Clay.
Obama said he could not wait for an end to political gridlock to pursue efforts to reduce gun violence.
West-central Missouri Republican Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer said Obama’s orders would unilaterally mandate new gun control measures.
“Not only is the President, once again, ignoring the checks and balances of our government, he is infringing on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. The recent tragedies that have happened across our country are incredibly painful. However, the President’s executive actions do not solve this problem,” said Luetkemeyer.
Missouri Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill supports the President’s decision.
“Boosting safety research, and making sure anyone in the business of selling guns is licensed and does background checks—these are small, commonsense steps that anyone who cares about preventing horrific gun violence should support. But, as the President admits, it’s not enough to protect our families and communities,” said McCaskill.
West-central Missouri Republican Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler said the President is using tragic incidents instead of addressing the rise of ISIS and the effects of mental illness.
“Missourians and Americans everywhere are understandably troubled by the tragic shootings that have occurred across our nation, but the President’s proposal to make gun ownership more difficult would not have stopped Islamic extremists or mentally ill people from committing the acts they did. Only solid foreign policy and leadership will. That should be the President’s focus,” said Hartzler.
The President blasted the gun lobby, particularly the National Rifle Association, and insisted that his actions are not a plot to take away everybody’s guns.
Part of the order calls for hiring more personnel to process background checks, direct officials to conduct more gun research, encourage more domestic violence prosecutions, order better tracking of lost guns and provide more funding for mental health treatment.