Area residents have mixed emotions about executive actions taken Tuesday by President Barack Obama in an effort to limit gun violence.
The new requirement would expand background checks for gun buyers.
The measure states individuals who sell firearms as a business would need to register as licensed dealers.
Administration officials said the action would narrow an exception which allows many small sellers to not have to keep official sales records.
Bucyrus resident Rick Harris agrees with the President.
“Gun shows make it too easy to have an unlicensed firearm and that loophole needs closed. We have to license almost everything else, why not all guns? The president is not taking away guns so I don’t understand people’s opposition to this. It needs to be harder for crazy people to get automatic weapons,” Harris said.
Bucyrus native Jason Wyeth said that gun control is futile.
“States are moving into a position where executive actions are not worth the paper they are written on, focus on the individual not the inanimate object people,” Wyeth said.
Obama was emotional after being introduced by Mark Barden, whose son was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.
“Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad,” Obama said during the event. “And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day.”
Obama defended his actions and said the measure would make it harder for criminals to get firearms.
“Each time this comes up, we are fed the excuse that common-sense reforms like background checks might not have stopped the last massacre, or the one before that, or the one before that, so why bother trying,” Obama said. “I reject that thinking. We know we can’t stop every act of violence, every act of evil in the world. But maybe we could try to stop one act of evil, one act of violence.”
The President’s actions were supported by Ohio Senator Democrat Sherrod Brown.
“I applaud (the President) taking action to stop gun violence,” Brown said on Twitter following the announcement. “I will continue working for commonsense safety laws Ohioans support.
Galion resident Lisa Riedel agrees with Brown.
“I think we’ve waited long enough for changes to gun control law. Since nothing of substance has been done, I celebrate Obama for taking action. Executive orders are within the powers of the President and have been used by all of them. I have background checks for employment- gun advocates certainly should be accepting to the same,” Riedel said.
Former Crawford County resident Brian Mollenkopf said he does not agree with the President using his executive power when it comes to gun control.
“I think it is an abuse of power. The POTUS is the Executive branch of the government, not the Legislative,” Mollenkopf said.
The move was blasted by state Republicans.
“I am disappointed that the Obama Administration seems determined once again to bypass Congress and enact new regulations in an area where they have not tried to find common ground,” Republican Senator Rob Portman said. “I believe there are ways we can work together to curb gun violence. This includes much stronger enforcement of current law, strengthening background checks by adding far better mental health records, and getting at the root cause of most gun violence by addressing the drug problem and gangs, pursuing more effective prisoner reentry programs and prison reform and addressing the gaps in mental health treatment.
“Instead of going around Congress with executive actions that may well threaten Second Amendment rights, I encourage the Administration to work with Congress.”
U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan said the focus of Tuesday’s action was in the wrong place.
“The President’s executive order will not do a thing to protect innocent Americans from violent criminals, but rather will make us less safe by weakening the Second Amendment freedoms of law-abiding Americans, a move which is par for the course for a President with a record of targeting the First Amendment speech rights of law-abiding Americans through the IRS and the First Amendment religious liberties of law-abiding Americans through Obamacare,” he said. “The Obama administration should quit targeting law-abiding Americans and come up with proposals that address what law-abiding Americans are actually concerned about: keeping terrorists from coming to the U.S.”
The President said he’s not against the Second Amendment.
“I believe in the Second Amendment, there written on paper, that guarantees the right to bear arms,” Obama said. “No matter how many times people try to twist my words around, that’s our constitutional law. I know a little bit about this. But I also believe that we can find ways to reduce gun violence consistent with the Second Amendment.”
He added that legislative action is needed for many of the actions he’s requesting.