Obama looking to bypass Congress on gun control
16 Mar, 2011 16:57
To crack down on gun laws US President Barack Obama is looking for ways to restrict Second Amendment rights though executive action as opposed to congressional legislation.
The President has ordered the US Justice Department to find ways he can use executive power to restrict American access to firearms. The department is focused on finding ways the White house can utilize existing government agencies and departments to alter policies, including strengthening background checks on prospective gun buyers and better data sharing between states and agencies. Outside of using agency policy, the used of Presidential executive orders is also on the table. The Justice Department is meeting with stakeholders from different groups in the government to seek the best way forward – without Congress. In Congress itself House Democrats have introduced legislation to change and strengthen the requirement of background checks on prospective gun buyers. However, with the US House controlled by pro-gun Republicans, the bill is not likely to pass. Gun control advocates are praising Obama’s move, understanding legislative action is nearly impossible I the current house. They argue that change, even if limited, is still a positive step. Pro-gun advocates however argue that executive action, and in most cases further legislation would violate the US Constitution and infringe on Americans’ Second amendment right to own guns. They further argue executive action over steps the power of the Office of President since the office is not constitutionally granted law making power.