Misusing his powers? Obama defends his plans for gun control

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By Euronews  with Reuters
Misusing his powers? Obama defends his plans for gun control
  • Multiple mass shootings generating outrage across the US
  • Obama frustrated at Congress’ inaction
  • “Misusing his powers” – Republicans”

Defending his plans

President Barack Obama has defended his plans to force through controversial executive measures on gun control.

The White House says Obama is due to reveal details of the plans at the White House on Tuesday morning.

Obama insists his aim to tighten gun rules is “well within” his legal authority and consistent with the US constitutional right to bear arms.

Giving his first weekly address of 2016, the US president said he would meet Attorney General Loretta Lynch to discuss what he plans to do.

Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office, Obama said his administration would unveil the new measures on Tuesday morning

His comments are being interpreted as a warning to opponents who are likely to challenge them in court.

Acting unilaterally

Multiple mass shootings have generated outrage across the United States.

Obama has been frustrated by Congress’ inaction on gun control.

He has recently asked his advisers to examine new ways he could use his executive authority to tighten gun laws unilaterally.

In general, the measures are likely to redefine what it means to be a gun dealer and spark increased use of background checks.

Misusing his powers?

Obama says he is confident his new measures are constitutionally sound.

Guns are a potent issue in US politics. The right to bear arms is protected by the US Constitution.

The National Rifle Association, the top US gun rights group, is feared and respected in Washington for its ability to mobilise gun owners.

Congress has not approved any major gun control legislation since the 1990s.

However, there are those who say the US president is playing with political fire by bypassing Congress.

Republicans have accused him of misusing his powers.

Congress, which is controlled by Republicans, rejected Obama’s proposals for legislation to tighten gun rules in 2013.

“A dangerous level of executive overreach”

Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan condemned Obama’s plans on Twitter.