U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch told lawmakers on Capitol Hill the president definitely has the legal right to use his executive authorities to enact gun control – that Congress itself had previously given him that ability.
In testimony aimed at clarifying points of President Obama’s recently announced executive actions on firearms, Lynch said it was all “consistent with the Constitution [and] laws passed by Congress,” the Hill reported.
She then said: “The Gun Control Act lists the people who are not allowed to have firearms, such as felons, domestic abusers and others. Congress has also required that background checks be conducted as part of sales made by federally licensed firearms dealers to make sure guns stay out of the wrong hands.”
And then she underscored “the actions announced by the president, which focus on background checks and keeping guns out of the wrong hands, are fully consistent with the laws passed by Congress.”
But Republicans on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee did not agree.
“It’s clear to me that the American people are fearful that President Obama is eager to strip them of their Second Amendment rights,” said Chairman Richard Shelby, the Hill reported. “Let me be clear. The Second Amendment is not a suggestion.”
Democrats, meanwhile, largely fell in line with Lynch’s way of thinking.
“No one is immune from gun violence,” said Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md), the Hill reported, “whether you are a congresswoman … named Gabby Giffords, whether your children go to elementary school in the wonderful suburban community called Sandy Hook, whether you’re just simply going to movies, or going to a community college, or sitting in a Charleston church.”