Wave Newspapers: Southland officials support Obama’s stance on guns

Democratic leaders and local officials in Los Angeles hailed President Barack Obama’s executive gun measures Jan. 5, saying policies to increase background checks for gun purchases and other steps will help reduce gun violence, while pro-gun groups called the actions an overreach of presidential powers.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said she is “very pleased [the president] is using his authority to bring some sanity to our gun laws and keep guns out of the hands of criminals and other potentially dangerous individuals.”

The senator said Obama’s executive actions target “loopholes that allow felons and other prohibited purchasers to buy weapons at gun shows and online without background checks.”

But pro-gun groups said Obama overstepped his powers and his policies may not actually reduce gun violence.

Craig DeLuz, a spokesman for the Sacramento-based Firearms Policy Coalition, said the executive actions are a “drastic overreach” because they sidestep the legislative process, and by extension the constituents who elect lawmakers to vet and create policy.

DeLuz said “the devil is in the details,” and without going through Congress, it is hard to know whether the policies will be more or less restrictive than those in California, which requires background checks in all gun sales, including transfers of personal guns between individual owners.

He added that “nothing that [Obama] is proposing would have done anything to stop any of the mass shootings.”

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