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Local Expert Says Obama's Executive Actions Are Okay

LAWTON, Okla_ On Wednesday, President Obama announced one of the biggest agendas for gun control in the nation's history.

He signed 23 Executive Actions on gun control that don't need approval by Congress. These actions include stricter background checks when purchasing guns and more federal research on gun violence.

And while Obama is calling these moves, "first steps", many are already feeling violated by his actions, and are worried the country is coming a step closer to losing 2nd amendment rights.

All day Wednesday in reaction to Obama's Executive Actions, Americans took to the Internet voicing their concern and disdain for his decisions, but retired Political Science Professor, Dr. Phillip M. Simpson said what Obama is doing is perfectly within the realm of his power.

"He has a lot of power to direct what executive departments do as long as he's within the federal statutes which organize the department, and as long as it's Constitutional under the Constitution, " Simpson explained. 

He's not even the first president to use Executive Action. In fact, Roosevelt used it in the 30's to enforce the ban of machine guns.

Simpson said, even if he hadn't used Executive Action, the call would ultimately be his.

"If Congress passes a law they're going to give him the power to carry it out anyway. So the president winds up doing it one way or the other, " said Simpson.

He voiced his support for Obama's general idea, but Simpson does disagree with how he's going about it.

"I think he's moved a little bit too quickly, " Simpson said, "I know the pundits would say you've got to strike while the poker's hot, which is true. I would rather have had a commission like the Warren Commission that studied the Kennedy assassination to do hearings and have people testify, do more study."

In reaction to the Newtown shootings, Simpson believes Obama is reluctantly moving forward on the issue because he feels pressure to make a change from different corners. And while he thinks anything Obama will do on this issue will be Constitutionally questioned, it's important to understand where he's coming from.

"There's plenty of legal room for the legislation Obama's proposing, it's not perfect world, at least he's trying."

Simpson said while some of the 23 Executive Actions will go into effect without any Congressional action, one of the bigger issues is creating mandatory background checks. This will require new legislation, meaning Obama will have to work with Congress on the issue.

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