Bridenstine bill would thwart Obama’s gun control move

U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Oklahoma, is sponsoring a bill to halt President Obama’s expansion of gun control through executive orders.

Other Oklahoma officials have criticized Obama’s assault on Second Amendment rights as he tries to circumvent congressional approval.

Obama’s plan includes prohibiting certain Social Security recipients from legally owning firearms.

“In response, I will co-sponsor legislation (H.R. 3126) to prohibit the Social Security Commissioner from turning over Social Security numbers to the Justice Department-run gun background check system,” Bridenstine said.

Bridenstine called Obama’s actions “an executive overreach.”

“The president’s gun control executive actions will infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans, but do nothing to prevent gun crime and mass shootings,” Bridenstine said. “I am confident that his proposals will be challenged in court and ultimately vacated.”

Bridenstine said Obama’s new executive actions on gun control would have not prevented mass shooting tragedies from Columbine to San Bernardino.

“The executive actions broaden guidance on who must obtain a firearms license while being deliberately vague in defining who will be considered a gun dealer,” Bridenstine said. “This will give federal agents undue power and make people reluctant to engage in gun transactions for fear of being selected for politically motivated prosecution.  The actions not only violate Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms but also Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.”

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, said Obama was pandering to his Democrat base.

“In an effort to show off to his liberal base, Obama announced several executive actions on gun control that would not have prevented any of the mass shootings that he claims inspired this push,” Inhofe said. “For months he has had his staff working night and day to find ways for him to push his gun control agenda unilaterally while we’ve been waiting years for any leadership or a clear strategy for the Middle East, ISIL and Syria. Ft. Hood, Chattanooga and San Bernardino were terrorist attacks that have happened here, in America, and we need to make sure that we are strengthening our borders, our visa programs and our surveillance of possible terror suspects before we try and curb Americans’ Second Amendment rights when they need them the most.”

U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, said Obama’s actions are off target.

“All Americans, Republicans and Democrats alike, are broken-hearted by senseless acts of violence, especially towards children,” Lankford said. “As we grieve for those who are affected by violence, we must evaluate the root causes that lead to violence, like broken families, mental health, drug use and a culture that glorifies violence. Just like the 23 executive actions on guns the president released in 2013, the latest round of executive actions generally misses the root causes of violence in our culture.

“Law-abiding Americans have a constitutionally-protected right that has been upheld by the highest court in the land for decades. A president who aggressively demeans the rights of law-abiding citizens fails to achieve real policy goals, and actually increases the sales of guns and ammunition since people are rightfully concerned about the future of their Second Amendment rights.”

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said Obama’s actions won’t solve any problems.

“As the state’s chief legal officer, I am concerned about public safety and strongly support efforts to reduce gun violence in our communities,” Pruitt said.  “However, the president’s executive actions appear unconnected to the types of tragic shootings he cited as the rationale for his actions. Congress has considered and rejected many of these proposals. Yet, the president is once again trying to bypass Congress to unilaterally impose his political agenda. The president instead should work with Congress on substantive reforms that reduce gun violence while still preserving the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their families. We should never sacrifice liberty and the rule of law in the name of symbolism or expediency.”

Repeal of Obamacare

The U.S. House last week passed the Restoring Americans’ Health Care Freedom Reconciliation Act (HR 3762), a bill to repeal Obamacare and limit federal funding for organizations that perform abortions, like Planned Parenthood.

The Senate passed the bill on December 3 by a vote of 52-47. As predicted President Obama vetoed the bill.

“Congress has finally put a repeal of Obamacare and defund of Planned Parenthood on the President’s desk,” said Lankford. “Five years ago, President Obama made big promises to the American people. The president promised Americans that they could keep their health care plan, he promised lower health care costs and he promised lower premiums and lower co-pays. Instead, Americans have experienced the opposite. In Oklahoma, many residents have lost their doctor and health plan, and their rates will increase by as much as 35 percent this year.”

To improve the health care system, Lankford has offered Health Care Compact legislation, in the House and in the Senate, to give states the option to join a pilot program that gives them the freedom to regulate health care within their borders. Lankford spoke about his legislation, Planned Parenthood and Obamacare last month during Senate floor debate of the Restoring Americans’ Health Care Freedom Reconciliation Act.

“I realize that our nation remains divided on the issue of abortion, but surely we are not divided on the procurement and sale of human organs,” Lankford said. “Planned Parenthood’s harvesting operation is a callous disregard for human dignity, and we should stop providing taxpayer support for them. Funding for organizations that abort children or engage in the harvesting of body parts should be redirected to women’s health at community health centers.”

Lankford was the first senator to speak on the Senate floor about Planned Parenthood’s harvesting operation, and he sponsored legislation (S.1881) to redirect taxpayer funding from Planned Parenthood to community health centers. That Senate vote on his bill fell five votes short of the 60 vote threshold, however, today’s Restoring Americans’ Health Care Freedom Reconciliation Act was passed through the budget reconciliation process, which has a 50-vote threshold.