Executive Action on Guns Draws Divided Reaction

Jackie_Walorski,_official_portrait,_113th_CongressIndiana’s elected representatives in Congress are reacting to action taken by President Barack Obama on the subject on guns.

Following statements made this week from the executive branch, Republican Senator Dan Coats said the President is trying to “sidestep Congress” to legislate. Coats went as far as to say that the changes proposed through executive action are unconstitutional.

A sometimes emotional speech allowed President Obama to expand on his proposal – which clarifies language differentiating gun hobbyists from firearms retailers. Gun control advocacy groups have often referred to this as the “gunshow loophole” since it allows certain individuals to avoid obtaining a license to sell the weapons.

The President’s recommendations also call for additional funding for mental health treatment. Treatable disorders are cited as a primary cause in the perpetration of mass violence such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Connecticut.

Democractic U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly says he thinks it’s reasonable to “consider ways to reduce gun violence while protecting the rights of law-abiding citizens…” Donnelly further commented that he is still reviewing the actions taken by the President.

Joe Donnelly
Senator Joe Donnelly

Although clarification has been made to the language regulating the use and sale of firearms, action is still required by Congress under the proposal. Additional funding to hire new ATF employees for background checks and investigations was requested.

Expanding on the response to mental health, the executive orders also calls for the Social Security Administration to develop databases to link individuals with a history of mental health to firearm sales.

Congresswoman Jackie Walorski says the President is ignoring the country’s system of checks and balances. She says she will work with her colleagues to “fight against this administration’s repeated practice of violating his constitutional authority.”