A tearful President Obama announced plans Tuesday to expand background checks to almost anyone buying a firearm from a dealer and make other gun rule changes via executive action – bypassing Congress and drawing the ire of Texas politicians.
“Everybody should have to abide by the same rules,” Obama said.
The president said background checks “make a difference” and will be expanded to cover purchases online, at gun shows and other venues. It would put the onus on sellers to get a license and conduct background checks of their buyers.
“Anybody in the business of selling firearms must get a license and conduct background checks or be subject to criminal prosecutions,” he said.
Obama’s plan includes a sweeping definition of gun dealers that his administration hopes will expand the number of gun sales subject to background checks. At gun shows, websites and flea markets, sellers often skirt that requirement by declining to register as licensed dealers. Officials said the new executive order clarifies that it applies to anyone “in the business” of selling firearms.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued the following statement after President Obama announced his gun control guidance:
“Once more President Obama is pushing his personal and political agenda, attacking the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners. I stand ready to fight back against any overreach that will deny or infringe on their rights. If the president is truly concerned about keeping our communities and schools safe, he should share the same sense of urgency in closing security gaps – some of his own making – that have made a mockery of our borders and are inviting potential terrorists to infiltrate and attack our nation from within.”
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called the measure “political posturing and more propaganda.”
“President Obama’s rhetoric demonstrates that he has no interest in protecting our Second Amendment right. He is simply out of step with mainstream America and certainly out of step with the majority of Texans,” Patrick said.
“This is the latest example of the president’s offensive executive overreach and unconstitutional use of executive action to try and do another end run around Congress.
“The president may not personally like it, but we have the constitutional right to protect ourselves, our families and our businesses. 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.
“I will continue to fight as I have as senator and lieutenant governor to defend the very freedom that makes our country and our state, the envy of the world. Obama’s proposed actions will slow and hinder the ability of law-abiding citizens to lawfully purchase a firearm, thus impeding their Second Amendment right. My legislative agenda has always been and will always be to fight against those who want to take our Second Amendment right away.”