Senate Dems Laud Obama for Ducking Around Congress on Gun Control

The Connecticut Democrats behind much of this year's push for gun control in Congress lauded the Obama administration for finding ways to work around the legislative branch.

The White House yesterday issued two new directives that would require background checks on guns registered to trusts and corporations and block the reimportation of military surplus arms.

“We applaud the President and Vice President’s efforts to continue the fight for commonsense, life-saving gun safety measures. Today’s executive actions build further on those announced earlier this year by the White House and mark continued progress even as Congressional gridlock blocks other critical measures from becoming law," Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said in a joint statement.

"We will continue our efforts to work with victims of gun violence, law enforcement officials, and responsible gun owners to push for the passage of universal background checks – a measure that 90 percent of the American public supports," they added. "We will also continue to push for gun safety measures such as a ban on military-style assault weapons."

“The country can’t afford to wait. Nearly nine months after the horrific tragedy of Newtown and in the face of constantly mounting gun violence deaths, we must confront this threat. We have to do something.”

But Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said that "something" shouldn't include finding ways to dodge the legislative branch.

“The president’s end-around Congress to impose new gun control measures flies in the face of Texans and the American people, and is particularly troubling given that the laws currently on the books are so woefully unenforced," Cornyn said.

“Any effort to address gun violence must go through Congress and be aimed at the root causes of the problem, not through symbolic gestures," he added.

"Even as Congress fails to act on commonsense proposals, like expanding criminal background checks and making gun trafficking a federal crime, the president and vice president remain committed to using all the tools in their power to make progress to reducing gun violence," White house spokesman Josh Earnest said at yesterday's press briefing.