Local congressmen respond to Obama’s executive actions on firearms

WASHINGTON (WHTM) – Republicans who represent central Pennsylvania in Congress are responding to President Barack Obama’s executive actions on firearms.

Rep. Lou Barletta and Scott Perry say the president’s orders wouldn’t have prevented any of the shooting incidents he cited while calling for tougher gun laws.

Obama’s executive order expands background checks on buyers by requiring more sellers to register as federally licensed gun dealers.

Barletta and Perry released the following statements after the president’s announcement:


“Once again, the president finds himself unable to guide his unpopular policies through Congress – as the Constitution requires – and so he circumvents the legislature by using executive fiat to achieve his political goals.  The president could have rammed these changes through when his party controlled both chambers of Congress for two years, but instead he has waited to issue these edicts in order to achieve the most division possible among Americans.

“I am a firm believer in the 2nd Amendment and I cannot support the further erosion of these guaranteed rights for law-abiding citizens.  I also will never support anything that resembles a national gun registry.  To rule by executive order and undermine the rights of law-abiding gun owners is contrary to our founding principles.

“We can all agree that those with histories of dangerous mental health problems should not have access to firearms, and we should all support laws that keep guns out of the hands of criminals, drug traffickers, gang members, and terrorists.  The changes the president has ordered, however, would have prevented exactly none of the incidents he has cited as the basis for tightening gun laws.  I only wish the president had the same enthusiasm for background checks on potential terrorists and illegal immigrants as he does for law-abiding citizens.”

— Congressman Lou Barletta, (R-11th District)


As a proud and responsible gun owner, I am and always will be a resolute supporter of every law-abiding American’s Second Amendment rights. I’m open to meaningful solutions that may prevent future senseless acts of violence, but the President’s proposals wouldn’t have prevented any of the recent tragedies. So we have yet another attempt to fit a political narrative through the President’s use of his “pen and phone”, rather than trying to solve the actual problem at hand.

The U.S. Government already has more than 240 pages of federal gun regulations. In 2010, nearly 80,000 Americans were denied guns after providing false information about their criminal histories during background checks; yet only 44 would-be buyers were ever charged with a crime. A 2011 Government Accountability Office study found that many states currently fail to share felony and mental health records with the National Instant Background Check System. The first step is fairly simple:  we must enforce existing laws to keep guns of out the hands of violent criminals, rather than hampering the rights of law-abiding citizens. I will be introducing legislation this week to stop this clear executive overreach.

— Congressman Scott Perry (R-4th District)

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