Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) came out in support of President Barack Obama’s plan to bypass Congress and tighten rules on gun ownership through executive action.
“I would prefer that we could have bipartisan support, but the truth is Republicans are not interested in doing anything about gun safety,” Sanders, a 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.
Sanders, who represents a state once dubbed “gun rights paradise” and who has a mixed voting record on gun control, said that the American people have reached the point where they want action on gun laws.
“The vast majority of the American people are horrified by the mass shootings we have seen. They want action,” said Sanders. “What the president is trying to do now is to expand the instant background check by closing the gun show loophole. I think he’s doing what the American people would like him to do.”
Frustrated by congressional inaction on gun control, Obama announced on Friday that he would meeting with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Monday to discuss ways he could reduce gun violence without waiting for lawmakers. The president is expected to focus on requiring some currently unlicensed gun dealers to get licenses and run background checks on customers.
Republican presidential hopefuls threatened to undo any progress made by Obama on gun control if they were to take office in 2017.
“I don't like anything having to do with changing our Second Amendment. We have plenty of rules and regulations,” real estate mogul and Republican front-runner Donald Trump told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“The one thing good about executive orders,” Trump continued, “the new president, if he comes in, boom. First day, first hour, first minute, you can rescind that.”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie accused Obama of acting “as a king” by moving on gun control without lawmakers.
“If he wants to make changes, go to Congress and convince Congress they’re necessary,” Christie told Fox News. The governor promised to take executive action of his own if elected president to reverse any changes Obama makes to existing gun laws.