(Washington Times) The administration is eyeing unilateral steps on gun control, but analysts said there are few things President Obama can do on his own because gun control is one area where Congress has jealously guarded its power to make the laws.
In many areas, Congress writes broad laws but gives the executive branch wide discretion to write rules and regulations. Not so with guns.
“The problem with gun control is that Congress has been extraordinarily explicit,” said John Hudak, a scholar on executive power at the Brookings Institution. “When gun-control legislation is passed, it is usually very detailed in what Congress intended and it is usually very detailed in the barriers it sets up for the executive branch. That limits presidential authority to use executive power because there is little discretion.”