Monday, January 14, 2013
Bloomberg urges Obama to defy Congress, implement gun control by executive action
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Monday told a group of John Hopkins students that President Obama ought to sidestep the wishes of Congress and order swift new executive gun control measures.
“There are steps that President Obama can take without congressional approval at any time he chooses with just one stroke of the pen,” Bloomberg told the mixed audience of students and scholars, speaking at the “Gun Policy Summit” at John Hopkins University.
Bloomberg’s remarks came hours before President Obama argued in a rare press conference that executive privileges afforded him the power to implement some federal gun control measures without the permission of Congress.
“My understanding is the Vice President is going to provide a range of steps that we can take to reduce gun violence,” President Obama told the White House Press Corps. “Some of them will require legislation, some of them I can accomplish through executive action.”
Since the Newtown Massacre late last year, the White House has eyed legal options for mandating comprehensive gun control as House Republican leadership has signaled reluctance to even allow such legislation to reach the floor.
Bloomberg also recommended to Vice President Biden a four tiered plan for strengthening existing weapons laws.
President Obama should make a recess appointment to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, direct the Department of Justice to prosecute convicted criminals caught providing false information during gun background checks, and order federal agencies to submit data to the national gun background check database, said Bloomberg.
Bloomberg also said Obama should direct his agencies to cease adherence to the “Tiahrt Amendment” a law which prevents local law enforcement agencies from full access to federal gun databases.
John Hopkins University dubbed Monday’s summit “the most extensive summit meeting ever of gun policy researchers.”
The statement added that its intended purpose is to gather “experts on gun policy and violence” to ultimately make policy recommendations aimed at reducing gun violence.
The summit kicked off Monday morning and will conclude late Tuesday afternoon.