American Constitution Society statement on Obama gun violence order

gun violenceToday President Obama announced he will take executive action to lessen gun violence in the absence of action by Congress despite a growing epidemic of shootings across the country.

ACS President Caroline Fredrickson made the following statement:

“We applaud President Obama for taking these extraordinary steps, which are fully within his constitutional authority, to work toward an end to gun violence that is crippling our nation.

“His actions today are particularly commendable, as he has been forced to go it alone with a Congress that is beholden to the fringe gun lobby despite widespread support from Americans of all walks of life for sensible gun control.”

 

Background: Gun violence

A group of the nation’s top constitutional scholars, organized by ACS, sent a letter to the White House in November urging President Obama to take executive action to curb gun violence.

The letter lays out several constitutionally sound ways to curb gun violence.

The professors, including ACS Board members Elise Boddie, Erwin Chemerinsky and Adam Winkler, state, in part, “There are numerous actions the Administration can take which are fully consistent with the constitutional limitations on the President’s power, which preserve the Second Amendment rights of Americans, while reducing gun violence and saving lives.”

ACS President Caroline Fredrickson said, “The policies presented by some of the nation’s most respected legal scholars do not harm the Second Amendment, and would help make our nation safer. As President Obama considers taking steps to address the nation’s gun violence epidemic, we hope these ideas, from top-notch constitutional scholars, will be of great guidance.”

In a post for ACSblog about the letter sent to the president, UCLA law school professor Winkler wrote, that in reality the “Second Amendment gives the government wide leeway to regulate guns to enhance public safety. Moreover, the Constitution vests Obama with the obligation to insure that congressional mandates ‘be faithfully executed,’ enabling him to take executive action.”

Read the full letter here.

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