Valerie Jarrett: ‘Absolutely’ Obama Has Authority to Impose Gun Control

Scarborough: ‘Why didn’t the president do that after Newtown?’

BRZEZINSKI: “So let’s bring in senior adviser to President Obama, Valerie Jarrett, Happy New Year. Good to have you on.”
JARRETT: “Happy New Year to you Mika.”
BRZEZINSKI: “I certainly don’t disagree with any of this but the president’s opponents were quick to jump on this with criticism. Paul Ryan called it ‘a dangerous level of executive overreach’. And even the NRA was very critical saying it was spin, telling the ‘New York Times’ This is it, really? This is what they’ve been hyping for how long now? This is the proposal they spent seven years putting together? They’re really not doing anything.’ What’s your response to that?”
JARRETT: “My response is they should all spend time talk to the victims of gun violence. Mika, we lose 30,000 people a year to gun violence, two-thirds of those through suicide. What the president has said he’ll take whatever steps he can within his authorities to keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them, to make our community safe, make sure we’re providing the mental health resources that we need to make sure Americans are as healthy as they can be and to invest in smart technology to —“
SCARBOROUGH: “So, Valerie, what can the president do? Like the gun show loophole. Can the president close the gun show loophole to make sure terrorists can’t walk into gun shows, not have a background check and walk out with assault style weapons?”
JARRETT: “What the ATF is is doing today is giving guidance that says that it doesn’t matter where you guy a gun, whether it’s in a store or at a gun show or on the Internet. If you’re in the business of selling gun, you need to get a license and you need to make sure you do background checks on the people to whom you sell them. That’s an important step.”
SCARBOROUGH: “Does the president have the legal authority to do that?”
JARRETT: “Absolutely. Absolutely, Joe.”
SCARBOROUGH: “Can I ask a question? Why didn’t the president do that after Newtown? Obviously we’ve been debating this for a couple of years now.”
JARRETT: “Well, our first priority was to get Congress to pass an act that would have been more comprehensive. That’s the best solution, Joe, of course is to get Congress to act. In their failure to act, the president passed 23 different executive orders that have made great improvements in terms of how we share data from the state and local level, improving our own technology. After Oregon he said, look, I want my team to go back and take another look and see what more we can do. That’s when the team came up with this package that the president will present today.”

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