President Obama will announce new gun control measures ‘quite soon,’ the White House said today.
The president is expected to take aim at the gun show loophole, which allows buyers to bypass a background check.
He’s meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch today to finalize the measures and plans to speak to reporters afterward, indicating the announcement could come as soon as this afternoon.
The president is meeting with a handful of Democratic lawmakers this afternoon at the White House as well to discuss the issue.
Republicans have already made quick work at disparaging the president’s plans .
For instance, on Sunday in New Hampshire, Sen. Marco Rubio assured voters that he would kill Obama’s executive orders on gun control right after he moved into the White House.
‘Don’t worry,’ Rubio told the crowd, according to Time. ‘On my first day in office, behind that desk, don’t worry, those orders are gone.’
Rubio suggested that any new laws on the books would just punish law-abiding gun owners.
‘You can pass all the gun laws in the world that you want,’ he said. ‘It will not stop the criminals.’
‘I believe that every single American has a Constitution – and therefore God-given right – to defend themselves and their families,’ Rubio added.
When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was asked about the forthcoming measures, he called President Obama ‘a petulant child,’ during an appearance on Fox News Sunday.
‘Whenever he can’t get what he wants, because frankly, the American people have rejected his agenda by turning over the House and the Senate to Republicans, going from 21 Republican governors when he came into office, now 31 – now he wants to act like a king,’ Christie said.
‘The fact is if he wants to make changes to these laws, go to congress and convince congress they’re necessary, but this is going to be another illegal executive action which I’m sure will be rejected by the courts,’ Christie continued.
‘When I become president, they will be stricken from executive action by executive action I will take,’ the Republican hopeful added.
The party’s frontrunner, Donald Trump, was also miffed as to why the president wasn’t guiding this legislation through Congress, though recent history has shown that congress is where gun control legislation is left to die.
‘I want see what he says, why he couldn’t get this approved by Congress. Why can’t he go in and get this approved?’ Trump said this morning to CNN’s Chris Cuomo. ‘If something is seemingly cut and dry as you like to say it is, why can’t the system work the way it was supposed to be, you know, the way it was supposed to be working, the way it was designed?’
‘Why isn’t he getting Republicans and Democrats together and doing something?’ the billionaire businessman mused.
‘He keeps signing executive orders because he doesn’t meet with people,’ Trump continued. ‘Maybe he doesn’t like people, I guess.’
Trump said the executive order indicated the president didn’t want to put in the work.
‘He wants to go back and play golf,’ Trump said.
Trump, noting that he didn’t know the specifics of Obama’s plan, went after it anyway.
‘Pretty soon, you won’t be able to get guns. I mean, it’s another step in the way of not getting guns,’ Trump said.
Carly Fiorina characterized Obama as a ‘lawless’ president and his plan to take unilateral action on guns is ‘delusional, dangerous, not to mention unconstitutional.
‘We have long lists of criminals who own guns, who routinely purchase guns. We know who these people are, and we are not prosecuting any of them,’ she said on CNN’s State of the Union.
During today’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Josh Earnest played coy with timing.
‘I would anticipate that the president will have an announcement quite soon,’ Earnest told reporters.
More than 30,000 Americans die every year as the result of gun violence, he said. The president’s executive actions won’t prevent every incident, but he feels it is worth it to act even if it prevents one death, the press secretary continued.
Earnest acknowledged Republican outrage over the president’s anticipated actions, and said, ‘We know that they are likely to try to pursue a creative legal theory, and that’s why the president wants to be sure that the recommendations that he receives are going to stand [up] in a court of law.’
‘The administration put in a great deal of work he said ‘to ensure that we would have confidence in the legal basis of these actions,’ Earnest added.
At the briefing, Earnest dinged another Republican, House Speaker Paul Ryan, for saying in an interview that he was for closing the gun show loophole back in 2013.
More recently, Ryan has decried the planned executive action as a ‘dangerous level of executive overreach.’
‘His proposals to restrict gun rights were debated by the United States Senate, and they were rejected,’ Ryan said in a statement. ‘No president should be able to reverse legislative failure by executive fiat, not even incrementally.’
However, when talking to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel three years ago, Ryan said requiring background checks at gun shows was a ‘reasonable’ measure and it’s ‘obvious’ it needs to be addressed.
Ryan said that this was something he had been supportive of since becoming a member of congress in 1999.
‘I think we need to find out how to close these loopholes and do it in such a way that we don’t infringe on people’s Second Amendment rights,’ Ryan said at the time.