U.S. Rep. Dennis A. Ross (FL-15), Senior Deputy Majority Whip, released the following statement in response to President Obama's announcement that he will issue an Executive Order that infringes upon Americans' Second Amendment rights and restricts the lawful sale of guns:
"Once again, President Obama is grossly and dangerously overstepping his constitutional authority by imposing an unprecedented and unfounded "gun control' Executive Order on law abiding citizens. This unilateral action is a direct attack on the Second Amendment. It is astounding and downright unconscionable that the President repeatedly refuses to abide by the Separation of Powers and circumvents Congress and the entire legislative process to push through his personal political agenda.
"The President is employing false rhetoric about loopholes in our gun laws to stoke fear and as a means to placate his political base. To the contrary of President Obama's claims, existing gun sale laws and background check requirements apply just as much to gun shows as they do to any other place where guns are sold. The rare exceptions, which account for a very small fraction of overall gun sales, are limited to infrequent sales by collectors, bequests and transactions between private, non-federal firearm licensed individuals who reside in the same state. In fact, firearms are the most severely regulated consumer product in the U.S.
"Many of the cities with the nation's toughest gun laws, like New York, Baltimore and the President's hometown of Chicago, are the exact same cities with the highest gun-related crime and murder rates in the country. In 2015, there were a record 2,939 shooting victims in Chicago. This type of violence is unacceptable, but is unfortunately on the rise because criminals are not adhering to these strict gun laws.
"Instead of infringing on the rights of Americans, we need to direct our focus toward taking steps to keep firearms out of the hands of mentally-disturbed individuals and criminals who do not care about the law in the first place. It is important we address the number of mass shootings that have been carried out by criminals and the mentally ill by providing additional funding and resources to our law enforcement agencies and mental health care providers to prevent atrocities in the future.
"Those who are truly punished by this Executive Order are the law abiding citizens who wish to exercise their constitutional rights and protect themselves and their families from violent criminals. I will be calling on my colleagues to join me in vigorously holding the President accountable for his illegal actions, and reminding him that he is the President of the United States, not the king of it."