By Leah Jessen
Reprinted with permission of The Daily Signal
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is preparing to go to court to challenge President Barack Obama’s “illegal” executive actions to restrict gun ownership.
“President Obama is again disregarding the constitutional principles of separation of powers and exceeding his authority as chief executive,” Walker, a Republican, said Wednesday in a prepared statement:
The Obama administration issued guidance creating uncertainty and fear of prosecution for law-abiding citizens who wish to exercise their right to sell firearms lawfully. Forthcoming federal rules could also deprive millions of Americans of their Second Amendment rights without any indication of imminent danger.
I have asked the [Wisconsin] attorney general to review this proposed rule language as soon as it is made available and, if issued as reported, to take any and all legal measures available to challenge this illegal act.
Obama’s announced Tuesday what he called executive actions “to reduce gun violence,” including guidelines on background checks and proposed funding for mental health care.
Obama increasingly has used executive actions or orders to bypass Congress. Walker said the president’s new actions are presidential overreach.
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, a Republican, responded to the governor with a statement Wednesday that says he has asked his legal team to review Obama’s proposals when they are published.
“It appears that President Obama once again intends to act unilaterally to restrict the Second Amendment and subvert the legislative process by issuing yet another executive order,” Schimel said, adding:
Public safety and preventing gun violence are among my chief concerns as attorney general. We must as a state take steps to more effectively enforce our existing gun laws. Any changes to the law, however, must be made with care to ensure proper legal process is followed and to avoid impairing the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.
This is not the first time Walker has suggested legal challenges of Obama-initiated measures, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. The Republican governor also took action against Obama’s health care, climate change, and immigration policies.
“Executive actions are one thing – federal laws and the federal Constitution allow for the president to do that, just like state law allows me to issue executive actions,” Walker told Fox6 News on Thursday. “But only within the parameters of the law, and not in violation of the Constitution. That’s really what we think he’s done.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also criticized Obama’s announced executive actions to restrict gun ownership.
Abbott, a Republican, released a statement Tuesday in response to the president’s proposals:
The Bill of Rights was added as a specific safeguard to prevent the federal government from denying Americans those guaranteed rights. Today, the president trampled the purpose and substance of the Bill of Rights by unilaterally imposing Second Amendment restrictions. After failing to pass gun control measures through Congress, the president is yet again resorting to unilateral executive action in place of the democratic process. Despite the president’s latest attempt to undermine our liberty, Texas will take every action to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.