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GOP candidates bash Obama’s gun plan

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 1/6/2016 David Jackson
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Republican presidential candidates quickly denounced President Barack Obama’s gun announcement Tuesday, saying his plans undercut the Second Amendment and stretch the limits of executive power.

“It’s part of a broader narrative,” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told Fox News. “And that is that this president is obsessed with undermining the Constitution in general, but the Second Amendment in particular.”

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Obama’s call for enhanced background checks and other new restrictions “shows an utter disregard for the Second Amendment as well as the proper constitutional process for making laws in our nation.”

In his remarks at the White House, Obama said he supports the constitutional right to bear arms. The president said the Republican candidates, in concert with the National Rifle Association and other members of the “gun lobby,” have distorted his plans, and that his proposals do not represent a “slippery slope” toward mass confiscation of firearms.

“This is not a plot to take away everybody’s guns,” Obama said.

Gun rights are always a big issue in Republican primary contests, including the current one.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, campaigning in Iowa, repeated his pledge to rescind Obama executive orders on gun control, saying that “when you live by the pen, you die by the pen.”

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee called Obama’s announcement a “blatant, belligerent abuse of power,” and said that “I will never bow down and surrender to Obama’s unconstitutional, radical, anti-gun agenda.”

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson tweeted that Obama’s “actions have everything to do with advancing his political agenda & little to do with actually protecting American citizens.”

Democratic presidential candidates, meanwhile, voiced support for the president’s actions.

The party’s front-runner, Hillary Clinton, tweeted that Obama had taken “a crucial step forward on gun violence,” and his successor “has to build on that progress — not rip it away.”

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders also endorsed the Obama plan, saying in a statement that “a vast majority of the American people, including responsible gun owners who are sickened by the deaths of so many innocent people, agree with the common sense reforms announced today.”

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