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Everytown For Gun Safety and the American Constitution Society Issue Statements on the Legality of Executive Actions to Stem Gun Violence

Today: U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Hearing on the Administration’s Executive Actions to Reduce Gun Violence

Erwin Chemerinsky, Leading Constitutional Scholar and Dean of UC-Irvine School of Law, Submitted Written Testimony in Support of the President’s Proposal

Everytown Previously Released New Research and Recommendations for How the President Can Constitutionally Take Executive Action to Reduce Gun Violence

WASHINGTON – Everytown for Gun Safety and the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) today released the below statements ahead of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies’ open session to discuss the oversight of the Department of Justice’s role in implementing the President’s recent executive actions to reduce gun violence. U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch will appear at the hearing, followed by a panel line-up of The Honorable Luther Strange, Attorney General, State of Alabama; The Honorable Ken Cuccinelli, Former Attorney General, Commonwealth of Virginia; Mr. Mark Barden, Founder and Managing Director, Sandy Hook Promise; and Dr. Joyce Lee Malcolm, Professor, George Mason University School of Law.

The hearing will focus on the president’s proposal and whether the actions are within the scope of his executive power. Dean Erwin Chemerinsky of UC-Irvine School of Law, a leading constitutional law scholar, and member of the ACS Board of Directors, submitted written testimony in support of the constitutionality of the president’s actions. Everytown for Gun Safety previously released this fact sheet detailing the actions taken by the administration and how they will reduce gun violence.

STATEMENT FROM JOHN FEINBLATT, PRESIDENT OF EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY:

“Dragging the U.S. Attorney General to Capitol Hill to question the integrity of actions that gun lobby-backed lawmakers have themselves demanded – actions that simply enforce the laws already on the books – is not only a pointless attack on the President’s efforts to reduce gun violence in this country, but also a huge waste of time and resources. President Obama’s executive actions to clarify and enforce our federal gun laws are absolutely constitutional, squarely within the scope of executive power and do not infringe in any way on law-abiding gun owners. There are too many lives taken each day by gun violence in this country and our elected officials should not waste precious time on trivial hearings like this one.”

STATEMENT FROM ERWIN CHEMERINSKY, LEADING CONSTITUTIONAL SCHOLAR, DEAN OF THE UC-IRVINE SCHOOL OF LAW, AND MEMBER OF THE ACS BOARD OF DIRECTORS:

“The President’s executive actions are necessarily narrow in scope because they are limited to the enforcement of existing federal laws. President Obama, through his action clarifying who is ‘in the business’ of dealing firearms, has closed a dangerous gap in the law. The hobbyist who occasionally sells guns is not covered, but those who regularly sell guns and act as dealers must comply with federal law. It is stunning and disturbing that these enforcement efforts are opposed by gun rights extremists as going too far and falsely condemned by political candidates as an attempt to ‘take away people’s guns.’ There is absolutely no truth in that.”