Exec. Orders Set Stage for Gun Control Showdown

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President Obama announced plans for sweeping new gun laws. The president's proposals set the stage for what could be the biggest political battle over gun control in decades.

The backlash began Thursday, with those opposing the measures vowing to fight on every level.

Obama said his sweeping plans would prevent more mass shootings and keep America's children safe. But critics say it amounts to executive overreach and an assault on the Second Amendment.

"President Obama's series of gun control measures amount to an executive power grab that may please his political base but will not solve the problems at hand," Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said in a statement.

Several states are already pushing back against the president's move. In Mississippi, the governor said he wants to make it illegal in his state to enforce any new federal gun laws.

"To use this tragedy somehow as to say we need great reform... is just the wrong thing to do," Miss. Gov. Phil Bryant said.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott agreed.

"Is it appropriate, however, for politicians to overreact and take actions that are both counter-productive and unconstitutional?" Abbot asked. "So what we're prepared to do is to ensure that constitutional guarantees are not stripped away because of political over reaction."

In Oregon, Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller said he won't enforce any gun law he believes is unconstitutional.

"We can't let crimes, no matter how heinous they are, of very few people dictate federal regulations and laws that infringe upon the constitutional rights of honest Americans," Mueller said.

Ken Klukowski from the Family Research Council told CBN News that state and local governments are within their rights to refuse to enforce executive orders from the president.

"Executive orders do not apply to private citizens, private companies, nor do they apply to state governments or local governments like sheriffs or a state attorney general or what not. The president has no such authority," Klukowski said.

The president took 23 executive actions on Wednesday that don't require the approval of Congress.

"We will make it easier to keep guns out of the hands of criminals by strengthening the background check system," Obama said. "We will help schools hire more resource officers if they want them."

To put major changes in place, the president needs congressional approval, a move that is sure to face major opposition.

The president is asking Americans to examine their hearts and demand change.

"There will be pundits and politicians and special interest lobbyists publicly warning of a tyrannical all-out assault on liberty," Obama said. "Not because that's true but because they want to gin up fear."

The president spent very little time talking about the media's effect on gun violence, making no connection between bloody video games and movies to gun violence in the United States.

Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he believes prayer can be more effective than gun control laws.

"Let us all return to our places of worship and pray for help," Perry said. "Above all, let us pray for our children."

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CBN News
Caitlin Burke and Efrem Graham

Caitlin Burke and Efrem Graham

CBN News

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