Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Page 1


Harris, Feuer, Others Praise Gun Crackdown


By a MetNews Staff Writer


State Attorney General Kamala Harris and Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer yesterday joined other Democratic office-holders in lauding the action of President Barack Obama in tightening controls on gun sales.

The president invoked his executive authority to clarify that persons “engaged in the business” of selling guns are obliged to secure a federal license and must conduct background checks on prospective buyers. The move is expected to deter online weapons sales.

Harris said in a statement:

“Gun violence has a devastating impact on our communities and there is a severe need for common sense gun safety laws. The President has rightfully used executive action to reduce gun violence through enhanced background checks, increased mental health treatment and reporting, and improved gun safety technology. It is a false choice to think we have to accept mass shootings as the norm in the United States, it’s now time for Congress to act.”

Feuer joined with New York County District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. in declaring:

“Today we were honored to join law enforcement partners, advocates, faith leaders, victims of gun violence, and their families, in the East Room of the White House as President Obama signed into law a series of executive actions which will help reclaim communities coast to coast from the bloodshed wrought by illegal guns.

“As prosecutors we know all too well that violent gun offenders routinely skirt background checks by obtaining weapons through ‘private sales’ at gun shows and online marketplaces. By contrast, traditional gun retailers have prevented more than two million prohibited persons from obtaining firearms through mandatory background checks of potential buyers. Requiring more gun sellers to obtain licenses and perform these checks is a common-sense measure that will save countless American lives.

“As co-chairs of our nonpartisan coalition, we applaud President Obama’s commitment to stemming the tide of gun violence, and recommit the expertise of our member prosecutors to advance federal progress on this crucial public health and safety issue.”

Californa Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, offered this reaction:

“I fully support President Obama’s executive orders issued today to curb the scourge of gun violence across our country. Taken together, the President’s action will prevent criminals from buying guns in other states and bringing them to California to commit crimes in our communities.

“In the past decade more than 100,000 American lives have been lost to gun violence. San Bernardino was only the latest in a tragic string of mass shootings that has left our nation in mourning. Yet, Congress has failed to pass gun-safety measures supported by the American public but opposed by the powerful gun lobby. Congress needs to act now and realize the Second Amendment and our desire to reduce gun violence are not mutually exclusive.

“Representing a district ravaged for decades by gun violence, I’ve been working on this issue since the first day I took office. In the coming weeks, I’ll be coordinating with the Assembly to deliver a package of new proposals to the Governor’s desk as soon as possible.”

Expressing a differing viewpoint yesterday was the Virginia-based Americans for Limited Government, which issued this statement:

“If Obama’s contention is that he is merely enforcing the law as written with his so-called executive action on firearms, and that he believes doing so can prevent more shootings, then Obama must be admitting that his apparent failure to enforce existing law makes him culpable for gun-related murders. Of course, Obama should enforce existing laws. He’s the President after all.

“Unfortunately, Obama’s record is of declining enforcement actions against illegal firearm dealers with only his Justice Department only generating about 200 convictions a year of illegal unlicensed gun sales. There is no loophole that prevents federal law enforcement officials from going after illegal unlicensed gun trafficking, otherwise, there would not be any convictions at all. Obama should urge the Department of Justice to aggressively investigate and prosecute real gun trafficking crimes involving real criminals and stop the politicized rhetoric against law-abiding gun owners.

“What is even more distressing is that while Obama blames law-abiding gun owners for violence, he hypocritically is releasing tens of thousands of felons from federal prisons, increasing the risk of repeated crimes. It would seem that with his tepid prosecution record and his felon release program that all Obama needs to do to find out who’s at fault is look in the mirror.”


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