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January 17, 2013

Oklahoma delegates react to President Obama’s gun plan

NORMAN — President Barack Obama’s gun plan, released today, drew mixed response from Oklahoma lawmakers.

The plan proposes executive orders to deal with the tragedy of gun violence and calls for Congress to enact legislation to strengthen current gun laws.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, said most of the president’s planned executive orders are common-sense changes that are within the president’s current powers to implement. Those include:

· Launching a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

· Providing law enforcement, first responders and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

· Maximizing enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecuting gun crime.

· Launching a national dialogue led by secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

However, the president also has called on Congress to enact laws against assault weapons and to close loopholes in background check requirements.

“I will adamantly oppose any executive order that I believe infringes upon duly enacted laws by the Congress or on our Constitutional rights,” Inhofe said. “Where I do disagree with the President is on his recommendations for laws Congress should pass.

“We know from experience that an assault weapons ban will have no meaningful effect on gun violence, as many of the changes that are implemented by a such a ban are cosmetic in nature. Statistics demonstrate that a ban on particular weapons will not significantly decrease crime. Such a ban will, however, significantly decrease our rights guaranteed by the Constitution.”

Congressman Tom Cole, R-Moore, agrees.

“I will oppose any legislation to limit the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans, including a ban on so-called assault weapons,” Cole said. “I represent tens of thousands of responsible gun owners who safely use guns for hunting and protection, and restricting their freedom is not the solution to gun violence.”

Loopholes the president wants to close regarding background checks include private sales by people exempt from the federal requirement created by the Brady Act.

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