President Barack Obama Wednesday announced that he will ask Congress to approve the most ambitious gun control program in decades. Not waiting for a divided congress to act, the president signed 23 separate executive actions to speed change. [READ: President's Plan]
The actions, which do not require approval by Congress, focused on less controversial items including incentives to schools that hire resource officers, launching a national gun safety campaign and directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes of gun violence.
[Presidential Memorandum - Engaging in Public Health Resources on Causes and Prevention of Gun Violence]
[Presidential Memorandum - Tracing Firearms in Connection with Criminal Investigations]
Congress will have to approve more high profile proposals the president is putting forward. Those items include a renewal of the ban on assault weapons, prohibition on the sale of ammunition magazines with more than 10 rounds and requirements that gun buyers go through mandatory background checks.
President Obama admits there's only so much that he can do to reduce gun violence, unless Congress makes a move on his proposals. Alabama's lawmakers are not likely to make those efforts any easier. The state's lawmakers made their voices clear following the president's address.
"I'm a gun owner, myself, and I strongly value the rights guaranteed in the Second Amendment," said Congresswoman Martha Roby (R-Dist. 2). "The overwhelming majority of gun owners are law-abiding citizens who strictly follow all applicable state and local regulations. I will oppose any effort to take away the rights of law-abiding American citizens to own firearms."
Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Dist 3) response echoed much of Roby's stance. " I will continue to strongly support the Second Amendment. In that regard, I oppose any effort to reinstate an assault weapons ban, add restrictions on accessories, restrict ammunition purchases or construct further limitations on the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens. Additionally, I strongly oppose any Executive Order issued by the President designed to circumvent the legislative process and limit gun rights."
Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-Dist. 7) was on a flight when her office was asked for comment. A spokesperson said she would not be issuing a statement at this time.
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) was in Montgomery Wednesday where he was speaking on issues facing Congress. He briefly touched on his stance toward gun control. "The fundamental right to keep and bear arms I support and will not accept fundamental reductions or curtailments of that law," he said.
"The safety of our children and communities is always of the utmost concern and I agree that there are issues that need to be addressed," said Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, (R-Auburn). "However, I disagree with the President's assumption that guns are the issue. Guns are not the problem and gun control is not the answer. To simply point a finger at guns and call for their outlaw is lazy, patently political and constitutionally dangerous."
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley also weighed in on the topic saying a rational approach should be taken to address the issue. He said he believes in preserving the rights in the 2nd Amendment. Bentley has tapped Spencer Collier, Alabama's Director of Homeland Security, to develop a plan for preventing and responding to active shooters at schools and other public facilities.
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