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Tulsa World: Congressional delegation slams Obama's initiatives on guns

January 6, 2016
News Stories

Tulsa World - Randy Krehbiel

First District Congressman Jim Bridenstine said Tuesday he is cosponsoring legislation to block a portion of President Barack Obama’s gun initiative intended to include information about Social Security recipients prohibited from possessing firearms for mental health reasons in the background check system.

“The president plans to prohibit certain Social Security recipients from legally owning firearms,” Bridenstine said in a release. “In response, I will cosponsor legislation to prohibit the Social Security commissioner from turning over Social Security numbers to the Justice Department-run gun background check system.”

Oklahoma’s congressional delegation panned Obama’s initiative as ineffective, illegal and unconstitutional. U.S. Sen. James Lankford predicted Obama’s move to tighten controls on guns sales will have the opposite effect intended.

Lankford said Obama’s initiative “demeans the rights of law-abiding citizens” and “actually increases the sales of guns and ammunition.”

“In an effort to show off to his liberal base, Obama announced several executive actions on gun control that would not have prevented any of the mass shootings that he claims inspired this push,” U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe said. “For months he has had his staff working night and day to find ways for him to push his gun control agenda unilaterally, while we’ve been waiting years for any leadership or a clear strategy for the Middle East, ISIL and Syria.”

Inhofe said the initiatives are an attempt to “curb Americans’ Second Amendment rights when they need them the most.”

Second District Congressman Markwayne Mullin said “more gun control will not deter criminals from perpetrating evil acts.”

Mullin said the country should “focus on closing our borders to individuals who wish to do us harm and identifying root causes of violence, like radicalism and mental illness.”

Fourth District Congressman Tom Cole said the initiatives are “unconstitutional” and demonstrate the president’s “extreme anti-gun ideology.”

“Most Americans understand that guns are tools that must be used responsibly, whether for recreational use or the protection of our families and property,” Cole said.

Bridenstine said the initiative is troublesome in several respects.

“The executive actions broaden guidance on who must obtain a firearms license while being deliberately vague in defining who will be considered a gun dealer,” he said.

“This will give federal agents undue power and make people reluctant to engage in gun transactions for fear of being selected for politically motivated prosecution.

“The actions not only violate Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms but also Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures,” he said.

Lankford said Americans are “broken-hearted by senseless acts of violence” and should “evaluate the root causes that lead to violence, like broken families, mental health, drug use and a culture that glorifies violence.”

Lankford said Obama “generally misses those root causes.”

Online: Tulsa World