Posted: Jan 14, 2013 8:34 PM by CBS News
In President Obama's drive to curb gun violence in the wake of the Newtown tragedy, he and VP Joe Biden have mentioned on several occasions the possibility of executive action or an executive order on some aspects of gun control.
The very threat of such an act has stirred many conservatives to respond passionately in opposition to such a possibility, none more so than Texas Congressman Steve Stockman.
In a statement released Monday, Stockman said: "The White House's recent announcement they will use executive orders and executive actions to infringe on our constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms is an unconstitutional and unconscionable attack on the very founding principles of this republic."
So far, Mr. Obama's statements on the subject of executive action on gun control have been given with the caveat that he will only consider it if Congress doesn't act. CBS News correspondent Major Garrett reports the only area the president mentioned dealt with improved tracing at the federal level of guns sold to or stolen by criminals.
Still, that didn't stop Stockman from making threats if Obama took "actions (that) are an existential threat to this nation."
In his statement, Stockman said he "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."
The president appears to have been prepared for such an impassioned response to his push for strong gun control regulations. At a Monday press briefing, the president acknowledged the fervor of gun rights advocates.
"Part of the challenge that ... we confront is that even the slightest hint of some sensible, responsible legislation in this area, fans this notion that somehow, here it comes, and everybody's guns are going to be taken away," the president said.
Stockman, in his statement, later echoed that very notion.
"Under no circumstances whatsoever may the government take any action that disarms any peaceable person - much less without due process through an executive declaration without a vote of Congress or a ruling of a court," Stockman stated. "The President's actions are not just an attack on the Constitution and a violation of his sworn oath of office - they are a direct attack on Americans that place all of us in danger."
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