Grassley statement on Obama’s executive gun control proposal

WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley made the following statement Jan. 4 regarding President Obama’s announcement to use executive authority to tighten firearms controls:

“America’s response to recent tragedies involving guns should include a thoughtful review of not only how, but also why they happened.  It should explore responsible, effective solutions to underlying problems and respect the fundamental, constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans. This is exactly the deliberative process the Founding Fathers entrusted to the legislative branch of government, not the political agenda of one person.

“Over the course of the next few days, we’ll be taking a deep look at the President’s proposals, with an eye toward ensuring that the Second Amendment is preserved. Of course, the devil will be in the details of the regulations that he’s proposing. I’d remind everybody, though, that one of the agencies the President is proposing to give additional authority and resources to, is the same agency that allowed guns to walk into Mexico and then turn around and kill one of our own Customs and Border Patrol agents.

“History has taught us that simply focusing on limiting access to guns does not lead to drops in gun crimes. Maryland, Illinois, California, and even Washington, D.C., have some of the nation’s strictest gun laws, yet they have some of the highest numbers of gun-related crimes in the country.

“Congress has debated and continues to debate appropriate changes to America’s gun laws that respect Second Amendment rights. I offered a comprehensive proposal in 2013 and again late last year that focused on mental health, straw purchases and illicit trafficking.  Both times, it received bipartisan support. I’m currently working across the aisle with Sen. Durbin on a bill to prevent all non-citizens who aren’t legal permanent residents from purchasing guns. I’ve also put forward a number of bills to improve our response to mental health issues that are often at the root of these tragedies.

“Our government, with its separation of powers and checks and balances, was designed to protect the rights of individuals, and ensure that our most challenging debates are held in Congress, where all Americans have a voice through their representatives. This can be a difficult and frustrating process, but it is how we ensure that the will and rights of the American people are respected and protected, and it is where this debate should take place.”


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