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East Bay Pols Praise President's Gun Control Plans

Congressional and state representatives say President Obama is on the right track.

East Bay political leaders this week praised President Obama's announcement that he was taking executive action to enact gun control legislation.

The presidentincluding ones to enhance background checks and expand the options for mental health professionals to report threats of violence.

He also asked Congress to approve legislation for universal background checks on gun purchases, restore a ban on assault weapons and limit magazines to 10 bullets.

“I applaud President Obama for moving so quickly to develop a comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence in the United States and in our schools," said Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez). "I support his proposal and urge Congress to work quickly to pass it."

Miller added he will work with other congressional representatives to increase safety in the nation's schools.

"We must act now,” he said.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin) said, “The president has put together a bold plan to reduce gun violence and Congress needs to enact the legislation called for, like the ban on assault weapons, without delay ... It is long overdue for members of both parties to rise above partisan differences and do what is right to protect the American people.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) said she hopes Congress will quickly adopt measures to renew the ban on assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines as well as require background checks on all gun sales. Lee added she wants to improve mental health and violence prevention programs.

State representatives also praised the initiatives.

State Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) said she hopes to follow the president's lead at the state Capitol.

"The president is setting the tone for the national conversation that has to take place.  I strongly agree with him that we need to take action in order to protect our children," said Hancock. "As someone who represents Oakland, I’ve seen the tragic consequences of gun violence - too many children are dying."

Gun rights advocates, however, said President Obama's directives don't have a lot of teeth.

Charles Nichols, president of California Right to Carry, said the president's 23 executive orders require $5 billion in funding that Congress needs to approve.

He added the president doesn't have the authority to enact gun bans. That, he said, must come from Congress. Nichols said congressional approval of gun prohibitions is unlikely.

"President Obama's much hyped proposals were revealed this morning and despite all of the doomsday prophecies to the contrary, Mr. Obama all but conceded defeat," said Nichols.

Read more about gun control issues on Patch:

  • President Obama Calls for Universal Background Checks—Your Thoughts?
  • Gun Advocates: Owning A Weapon Is A Civil Right
  • Guns – Time for More Controls? A Ban?
My Kids Dad January 18, 2013 at 04:53 PM
how many "common sense" laws do we already have that get broken every time something bad happens with or without a gun? Lawless people break the law, and the rest of us try to obey all the laws the govt thinks we should be forced to live by.
KFrances January 18, 2013 at 05:25 PM
The gun lobby does not take freedom and choice from an individual to buy or not buy. whereas the government is pushing and pushing and pushing to legislate and put *policy* in place behind the scenes to chip away at Freedom, chip away at the USA. to TAKE power and choice
KFrances January 18, 2013 at 05:42 PM
Since 2011, our President has given himself (and his successors) the power to lock a U.S. Citizen up forever with no judge or jury (NDAA), take power over all rural land in the U.S. and declare Martial Law during Peace time. In less than 2 years, US Citizens were stripped of all basic rights through 'Executive Order' Not only did Obama lie twice about NDAA - he fought twice to keep it especailly the broad inclusion (associated forces) of sec. 1021. It is the law of the land today. Pretty tyrannical if you ask me...the worry is not only this administration, but the one after that & the one after that. The above has deep ramifications for a - civilization's survival - (ours) yet you don't hear a peep about it from the media, instead gun control is the issue. That is a red flag.
KFrances January 18, 2013 at 06:04 PM
Bob Ravasio, Corte Madera City Council leader has the guts to stand up to ABAG. Even though he is for 'common sense access' to guns - (which I personally think 'common sense' could be twisted by legaleze and Obamacare) he is a glimmer of hope in an otherwise very barren landscape where the Power is supposed to reside in the people, not the Government and definitely not a dictator.
Bailey Lee January 18, 2013 at 06:13 PM
Here's what that other redneck, rightwing George has to say to Rep Miller: A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a Uniform and well digested plan is requisite: And their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories, as tend to render them independent others, for essential, particularly for military supplies.---George Washington, to Congress Jan 8, 1790

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