W.H.: Obama ‘Has Gone as Far’ As He Can with Gun Control Using Executive Power

‘The president made it a priority of calling on people all across the country to challenge Congress to take common sense steps that would keep guns out of the wrong hands’

GEIST: “Hey Josh, it’s Willie Geist. It’s good to see you this morning. Big focus, I know, in tonight’s speech on guns. In fact, leaving one seat open for the victims of gun violence inside the chamber there. Some people in the Democratic Party, some progressives felt like if the president was going to go for it on guns using the executive action he could have gone farther than he went. If he had his druthers what would President Obama do about guns more than what he even laid out in the executive action?” EARNEST: “Well Willie, the president, despite the contrary to what you might hear from our critics, the president actually listens closely to his lawyers. And what his lawyers concluded after spending years scrubbing the law and taking a close look at this, is that the president’s now gone as far as he can, based on the current reading of the law, to do as much as possible to keep guns out of the wrong hands. The fact is Willie, what we’re trying to do is do as much as we can using executive authority. But it’s true the Congress can do so much more. And can do so much more in a way that will be long lasting. And that’s why the president has really made a priority of calling on people all across the country to challenge Congress to take common sense steps that would keep guns out of the wrong hands. The kind of proposals we’ve put forward that the president supports and he’s encouraging people to advocate for are the kinds of proposals that are supported not just by a majority of Democrats, but actually is supported by a majority of Republicans and even a majority of gun owners. So these are —“
GEIST: “You are talking about background checks, Josh, what else?”
EARNEST: “Yeah. This is closing the gun show loophole, this is closing the loophole that allows individuals who are on no-fly list from being able to buy a gun, and this is — this is actually the common sense measure that would prevent gun manufacturers from being able to escape liability for the way their products are used and for their own business practices. So, these are common sense measures. We’re not looking to take away anybody’s guns or undermine the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans, we’re actually looking for common sense ways that we can keep our kids safe.”

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