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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida reaction to Obama's gun control announcement



Reaction from Florida to President Barack Obama's actions today on gun control:

Sen. Bill Nelson: “I’m hunter and I’ve always owned guns, and I’ll be hunting pythons in the Everglades this week.  What President Obama is proposing is not an assault on the Second Amendment.  Why in the world would we not want to check to see if a person buying a weapon has a criminal record?  And why wouldn’t we want limits on assault weapons like AK-47s? People are buying assault weapons to kill others, not to hunt.  And when assault rifles are used to kill children, it's time for America to act.  This is a problem that common sense and moderation should dictate what the law should be. ”

Sen. Marco Rubio: “Nothing the President is proposing would have stopped the massacre at Sandy Hook. President Obama is targeting the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens instead of seriously addressing the real underlying causes of such violence. Rolling back responsible citizens’ rights is not the proper response to tragedies committed by criminals and the mentally ill. Making matters worse is that President Obama is again abusing his power by imposing his policies via executive fiat instead of allowing them to be debated in Congress. President Obama’s frustration with our republic and the way it works doesn’t give him license to ignore the Constitution. 

“Guns are not the problem; criminals with evil in their hearts and mentally ill people prone to violence are. Rather than sweeping measures that make it harder for responsible, law-abiding citizens to purchase firearms, we should focus on the root causes of gun violence and keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. As a strong defender of the 2nd Amendment, I will oppose the President’s attempts to undermine Americans’ constitutional right to bear arms.”

Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fort Myers, says impeachment should be considered. Video here from Shark Tank blog.

Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland: “As with all initiatives, we must approach gun control legislation thoughtfully and with the gravity that it deserves. This is an important conversation. However, I am concerned when the president is not just proposing ideas, but is also surpassing Congress and issuing multiple executive orders without allowing these new laws to go though both the Senate and the House for full consideration.  I have always been and will always be a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights, and will carefully weigh all of the administration’s proposals.”

Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa: 

“We need swift action to protect our children and communities from gun violence. The Congress should act to limit the potential for mass violence through measures including those to: Close background check loopholes to prevent easy access to weapons by criminals and the mentally unstable;        Ban military-style assault weapons and high capacity magazines; Provide mental health resources to schools and students so that students identified by teachers with mental health issues are treated.

“A survey last year by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns found that 74 percent of NRA members support requiring criminal background checks of anyone purchasing a gun.

“President Obama and Vice President Biden have presented a strong, comprehensive plan that rightfully proposes to increase access to mental health services for schools and students. I have spoken with local school district and community leaders and experts in mental health about support for our teachers and students. The president’s plan rightfully calls for training 5,000 more social workers, counselors and psychologists, with a focus on those serving students and young adults, especially young, isolated male teenagers.”

Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville: 

"President Obama’s Executive Orders, whose purpose is to increase the enforcement of existing gun laws and improve the flow of information among federal agencies to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and others who should not have access to them, are crucial to our nation’s response to gun violence, yet alone, they are insufficient.   In addition to those initial steps signed today by the President, Congress needs to do its part to strengthen criminal background checks for all gun sales, and close the loophole that allows gun buyers to avoid these checks by purchasing their weapons at gun shows or from a private seller.

"Additionally, I strongly support the President’s other legislative proposals, including a ban on assault weapons, limits on high-capacity magazines and new gun trafficking laws to crack down on the spread of weapons across the country.

"In the words of President Obama, ‘if there is even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there is even one life that can be saved, we have got an obligation to try.’”

Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Jacksonville: “I think we can all agree: no one wants to see another needless, senseless death committed in this country with a firearm. Along the road to that goal, a complex and multi-layered debate over firearms, education, mental health, Second Amendment rights, and more is unfolding.
“Everyone, including Congress, has a role to play in preventing another Newtown from ever happening again, and I look forward to carefully analyzing this proposal. Moving forward, my long-time support for Second Amendment rights remains firm. Furthermore, any substantial and comprehensive legislative changes to gun control policy must be weighed by the full United States Congress, rather than passed piecemeal and unilaterally by executive order.”

[Last modified: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 6:51pm]


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