Obama Gun Control Orders Draw Critics' Rhetorical Fire

Second Amendment activists in San Diego County are hoping Congressional Republicans find a fast and firm way of pushing back against President Barack Obama’s proposed executive orders to impose new gun control measures.

Whether that effort comes through legislation or litigation, they see the White House strategy as an affront to the democratic process.

Gun control activists insist the president has to pull an end-around on Congress because the majority answers to the "gun lobby".

The administration's critics argue that unilateral executive orders are the wrong approach to solving "cultural" problems.

"We're not going to solve this by hacking away at these little bits of people's rights, people's liberties,” says Michal Schwartz, executive director of San Diego County Gun Owners. “What we're going to have to do is change the culture, and make sure that people have the ability to defend themselves."

The President's executive orders will focus on gun shows and online sales venues, where background checks previously have not been required, or avoided.

Whatever form the orders take, they figure to provide political fodder for candidates in this year's Presidential campaign.

Legal observers say it could be iffy for members of Congress to bring litigation against the orders on Constitutional grounds -- but that gun sellers could file suit on the basis of proven economic losses.

"I might think that he's (the President) done is unconstitutional,” says Michal Belknap, a professor at California Western School of Law, “but if I can't demonstrate that I have been harmed by what he did, but I wouldn't have standing to bring a case."

Prof. Belknap says Congressional Republicans could take certain legislative actions against the executive orders -- such as withholding funding for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives unless the President rescinds the measures.

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