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Eye On Boise

Idaho delegation blasts Obama’s executive action on guns

Idaho’s all-GOP congressional delegation today blasted President Obama’s executive action on gun control, which includes expanding background checks, hiring more ATF agents and expanding research. 1st District Rep. Raul Labrador said Obama has “subverted our Constitution,” and Sen. Jim Risch branded the move “unconstitutional lawmaking.” Here’s a report from the New York Times on Obama’s action, and here are the full statements from the Idaho delegation members:

1st District Rep. Raúl Labrador: “Once again, President Obama has ignored the will of the American people and subverted our Constitution which gives Congress, not the president, the power to write our laws. When this president doesn’t get what he wants, he acts unilaterally -- as he has done repeatedly in the past on immigration, environmental regulation and Obamacare. Now, the President is putting election-year politics ahead of the Bill of Rights. I will continue to support the Second Amendment and fight the abuse of executive authority by this or any other president.”   

2nd District Rep. Mike Simpson: “I am disappointed but not surprised that President Obama is once again using executive orders to unilaterally push forward his personal agenda. This administration pushes constitutional boundaries by implementing policies that should be considered, debated, and voted on by Congress. Limiting the ability of law abiding citizens to exercise their constitutional rights to own firearms, will not address the crime problem. We should focus on improving the care of the mentally ill and enforcing the laws we have in place to ensure that they are kept out of the hands of violent criminals.”

Sen. Mike Crapo: “The president’s executive order to implement more gun control is just another brazen example of this administration’s continued overreach, a repeated pattern of behavior by this administration.  The president continues the pursuit of his broad agenda of command and control over many aspects of American’s private lives.  This order makes it harder for law-abiding, responsible Idahoans to purchase firearms.  The Second Amendment is unambiguous on the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms and I will continue to fight the president’s efforts to restrict law-abiding citizens from exercising those rights.”

Sen. Jim Risch: “This president, more than any other, has violated the constitutional separation of powers in which the legislative branch enacts laws and the executive branch executes those laws. His excuse that the legislative branch is not doing its job could not be further from the truth. Indeed, the legislative branch continues to actively battle against and refuses to enact further gun control laws. That legislative function belongs to the first branch of government, not the second. I fully understand that the president and the left strongly disagree with Congress’ refusal to further restrict the rights of law-abiding gun owners but that is the right of the Congress, and indeed, it is their duty and constitutional responsibility to the people who elected them. Those like the president, who want stricter gun laws, must do so by electing a pro-gun control Congress and not try unconstitutional lawmaking by the executive branch. Idahoans and Americans have steadfastly refused to elect a majority in Congress who favor stricter gun control. Americans have the right to do so.”

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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