In a lengthy and emotional speech today, President Obama announced executive actions for “common sense” gun control. The measures include clarification of an existing law on background checks and gun dealer registration as well as new investments in mental health and gun safety research.
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Presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle reacted strongly to Obama’s demands.
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton took to Twitter to applaud Obama’s plan.
Thank you, @POTUS, for taking a crucial step forward on gun violence. Our next president has to build on that progress—not rip it away. -H— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 5, 2016
.@POTUS is right: We can protect the Second Amendment while protecting our families and communities from gun violence. And we have to.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 5, 2016
Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders released a statement following the president’s announcement expressing his support.
"It's become clear that no mass shooting, no matter how big or bloody, will inspire Republicans to put children and innocent Americans over the interests of the NRA. They are simply more loyal to gun lobbyists than our children,” the statement reads. “That's why I support President Obama's executive actions to make our communities safer.”
Sen. Marco Rubio said Obama is "obsessed" with "undermining" the second amendment.
My response to Obama's gun control executive order: https://t.co/YPHRlzyQfy— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) January 5, 2016
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, in an op-ed piece in Cedar Rapid’s newspaper, The Gazette, accused Obama of “trampling on the Second Amendment.” In the piece, Bush slammed Obama and Clinton for “[seizing] on every opportunity to advance a gun-grabbing agenda.” Bush vows to repeal the president’s executive orders “on Day One” if elected.
Bush echoed his vow to repeal Obama's executive orders on Twitter.
At a campaign rally in Iowa today, Sen. Ted Cruz dismissed Obama’s proposals as “not worth the paper they are printed on.”
“When you live by the pen, you die by the pen and my pen has got an eraser,” he said.
Cruz also took to Twitter to express his disapproval.
Ben Carson argued on Twitter that Obama’s proposal will "regulate" freedom. He also accused the president of using the executive actions as a partisan tool.
Any executive order President Obama signs that regulates firearms transactions will merely regulate the freedom of law abiding citizens.— Dr. Ben Carson (@RealBenCarson) January 5, 2016
The President's actions have everything to do with advancing his political agenda & little to do with actually protecting American citizens.— Dr. Ben Carson (@RealBenCarson) January 5, 2016
Carly Fiorina shared her reaction on Twitter just minutes before Obama’s announcement.
Another lawless, unconstitutional overreach. The 2nd Amendment is an individual right. Mr. President, how about enforcing the laws we have?— Carly Fiorina (@CarlyFiorina) January 5, 2016
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee used the president's plan to promote his pro-life agenda.
Martin O'Malley shared his support for Obama's plan and stressed that "one life is worth more than all gun sales."
.@POTUS is right to act—every day we spend debating gun control is a day that we lose lives. One life is worth more than all gun sales. -O'M— Martin O'Malley (@MartinOMalley) January 5, 2016