Fleming questions President Obama’s authority on gun issues
A month after the horrific school massacre in Connecticut that left 20 children and six adults dead, President Obama was prepared to unveil a sweeping plan as early as today that would reform American gun control laws.
The president faces powerful and widespread opposition to reform as well as his statement that there are gun issues "that don't require legislation and that are within my authority as president."
Minden Congressman Dr. John Fleming said he was troubled by the president's discussion of using Executive Orders to bypass Congressional approval for any reform plan.
"Executive Orders have a limited purpose and scope," Fleming said Tuesday from Washington. "They are to be subservient to existing laws, and not made in place of them. If President Obama tries to use Executive Orders to challenge the fundamental protections of the Second Amendment, he will face strong opposition."
According to the Associated Press, President Obama is weighing 19 steps that could be taken through executive action alone.
Those steps could include ordering stricter action against people who lie on gun sale background checks, striking limits on federal research into gun use, ordering tougher penalties against gun trafficking, and giving schools flexibility to use grant money to improve safety.
The President's plan will be based on recommendations from Vice President Joe Biden's gun task force. White House officials believe moving swiftly on gun proposals at a national level, before the shock over the Newtown shooting fades, gives Obama the best chance to get his proposals through Congress.
Fleming said he welcomed the President's recommendations, but cautioned the nation's top executive to think twice before going the executive order route.
"While the President is welcome to offer his ideas and proposals, it is up to Congress to address gun legislation, and I urge President Obama to remember that distinction," Fleming said.