Focus of Obama's executive order is online sales, gun shows

Focus of Obama's executive order is online sales, gun shows

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - An issue quick to trigger praise and backlash is on the forefront once again.

On Monday, President Barack Obama revealed his executive order for more gun control for purchases at gun shows and online. The order would make it mandatory to background check those buying guns at a gun show or online, and force those selling at gun shows and online to obtain a license.

"Before the new year, I mentioned that I had given charge to my attorney general, the deputy director at the ATF and personnel at my White House to work together to see what more we could do to prevent the scourge of gun violence in this country," Obama said.

"We often talk about this gun show loophole, which simply is a fallacy. It does not exist," said St. Bernard Indoor Shooting Center owner Brannon Lebouef.

Lebouef believes Obama's executive order is unconstitutional, and he also does not think the order will have an impact.

"You don't have to, in the state of Louisiana, go through a dealer," he said. "You can go in the Walmart parking lot, and as long as you're a Louisiana resident and the other person is a Louisiana resident, you can buy guns just as if you were selling him cotton candy. The same thing can happen at a gun show. There is absolutely no difference from what happens at a gun show from what happens everywhere else."

"I think for many it's becoming a pressing issue because the amount of gun violence," said Tulane University constitutional law professor Keith Werhan.

Werhan said the president has the right to issue the order, but it's legitimacy will be determined later.

"It will all ground down to whether or not the president and his lawyers can make reasonable arguments tying what he has done in the executive order to authority that Congress has given him to act. If he's acting outside congressional authority, then he'll be hard-pressed to sustain the order," Werhan said.

Recently, Congress struck down a bill similar to Obama's order, even with a Gallup poll showing a majority of Americans, including gun owners, agree with expanding background checks for gun purchases.
But many believe more restrictions on gun purchases are violations of their rights.

"You're an American. You have a right to firearms. Anything that is done to inhibit that right is a violation of the Constitution," Lebouef said.

Werhan believes the executive order would in no way take guns away from gun owners. 
In addition, the president's executive order would provide more funding for mental health treatment, FBI staff and Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosive agents.

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