Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) is threatening to file articles of impeachment against President Barack Obama if he institutes gun control measures via executive order.
“I will seek to thwart this action by any means necessary, including but not limited to eliminating funding for implementation, defunding the White House, and even filing articles of impeachment,” Stockman said in a statement Monday, according to the Daily Caller.
The Weekly Standard reported that Obama used the final press conference of his first term in office Monday to offer some details on Vice President Joe Biden’s expected gun control recommendations: “My understanding is the vice president’s going to provide a range of steps that we can take to reduce gun violence, Obama said. “Some of them will require legislation; some of them I can accomplish through executive action.”
It’s unlikely that Obama can reinstate a ban on the sale of military-style assault weapons, stop the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips, or require background checks without new legislation, which has little chance of passing in the GOP-controlled House.
A wide range of options remain available through executive order and would not be without precedent.
As reported by the Huffington Post, after a 1989 mass school shooting in Stockton, Calif., President George H.W. Bush issued an executive order, pursuant to the 1968 Gun Control Act, that banned imports of certain assault weapons unless used for sporting purposes. Years later, President Bill Clinton used an executive order to ban imports of almost five dozen different assault weapons that had been modified to meet that “sporting” exemption.
Stockman said an executive order would be “not just an attack on the Constitution,” but also an “attack on Americans.”
“If the president is allowed to suspend constitutional rights on his own personal whims, our free republic has effectively ceased to exist,” he said in his statement.