With children by his side, President Barack Obama announced a series of executive orders aimed at stopping mass shootings.
“In the days ahead I intend to use whatever weight this office holds to make them a reality,” said Obama.
President Obama’s 23 executive orders include strengthening background checks before gun sales. Increased funding for schools to hire more resource officers and giving mental health workers more authority to report patients they deem a threat.
Minutes after the announcement, Whitney Ray broke the news to lawmakers here at the state capitol, most of which said the president’s action were out of bounds.
Republicans, who have a majority in the state House and Senate, say Congress should have had a say-so on the measures.
“There’s no reason why the President should be treating this issue any different than any other piece of legislation he wants to champion,” said Rep. Jimmy Patronis of Bay County.
“That’s circumventing another branch of government and that’s the legislature and you know he may not be happy with certain aspects of Congress, but he ought to deal with them,” said Sen. John Thrasher.
Senate Minority Leader Chris Smith supports the actions taken by the president.
“I think it’s fabulous that he’s doing that. He’s not just looking at guns but looking at it as a holistic approach,” said Smith.
But says gun control measures in the state legislature don’t stand a change.
“The NRA has such a strong grip on the Florida Legislature that it is going to be hard for us to pass anything,” said Smith.
Not all Republicans thought all the executive orders were bad ideas, but they doubt the measures will stop even one deranged gunman bent on murder.
Republicans in the Florida House and Senate also take issue with the president using kids to make his announcement. They called it a cheap political stunt. Democrats, say the kids belong on stage because they are the ones the President is trying to protect.