Alaska’s all-Republican congressional delegation reacted negatively to President Barack Obama’s announcement this week that he would take executive action on firearms.
Obama’s plan includes requiring licenses for more gun sellers — like those selling at gun shows, flea markets or online — in a provision that is aimed at closing a loophole that allows people to purchase from those typically smaller-scale sellers without a background check. Obama also pledged to provide more money for mental illness treatment and more personnel to conduct investigations and background checks.
Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young responded to the president’s Tuesday announcement, each saying in separate written statements that Obama was using his executive authority to push his own agenda without congressional approval and that he had failed to work with Congress on past gun- or mental health-related legislation.
All three agreed that criminals or the severely mentally ill should not have guns but said Obama was carrying out efforts toward that end in the wrong way.
“The president is no friend of practical bipartisan solutions to the gun violence problem, and he is no friend of the Second Amendment,” Murkowski said in her statement. “Instead, President Obama is yet again sidestepping Congress to act with the stroke of a pen on an issue concerning our constitutional rights.”
In their statements, Sullivan and Young said Obama’s moves were a direct threat to Americans’ Second Amendment rights and the U.S. Constitution.