President Barack Obama gave a speech today calling for background checks on all gun sales, whether in stores or at auctions and conventions, as part of efforts to prevent gun violence.
The president also called on Congress to reinstate the ban on military-style assault rifles and limit ammunition magazines to 10 rounds for all weapons and urged the public to pressure Congress and the gun lobby to push for stronger steps against gun violence, saying “the only way we can change is if the American people demand it.”
Obama also issued 23 executive actions that do not require congressional approval that he believes will prevent gun violence, including strengthening background checks on gun sales and expanding safety programs in schools.
U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita released a statement saying that Obama’s gun control proposals are “a radical overreach by a power-hungry executive branch that is committed to restricting the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans, without any concern for either the constitution or how this plan would actually work in the real world.”
“More laws and regulations will not and cannot stop evil,” Rokita said. “Only strong families and communities can. Instead of focusing on the real reasons for criminal and violent activity, the White House wants to restrict the rights of conscientious, patriotic, and responsible gun owners who, quite often, deter violent criminals. I will pursue each and every constitutionally-available means to stop new gun control measures from taking effect and will help lead the conversation in the halls of Congress, where such debates ought to be held, on what should be done to protect our communities and our Constitution.”
The National Rifle Association of America also responded to the president’s proposals, saying that only honest, law-abiding gun owners will be affected and children will remain vulnerable to the inevitability of more tragedy.
“Attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis we face as a nation,” the statement read. “Throughout its history, the National Rifle Association has led efforts to promote safety and responsible gun ownership. Keeping our children and society safe remains our top priority. The NRA will continue to focus on keeping our children safe and securing our schools, fixing our broken mental health system, and prosecuting violent criminals to the fullest extent of the law. We look forward to working with Congress on a bi-partisan basis to find real solutions to protecting America’s most valuable asset: our children.”