Fiorina on Guns: 'Let's Enforce the Laws We Have'; Sanders: Bipartisanship 'Would Be Preferable'

By Susan Jones | January 4, 2016 | 4:42am EST
President Barack Obama sits with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Capitol Hill during the 34th annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service, honoring law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty, on May 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

( - President Obama, at a meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Monday, is expected to issue new executive actions on guns, including one that forces more gun sellers to register as federally licensed gun dealers, which means they will be required to do background checks on the people to whom they sell.

According to the Associated Press, other moves being considered include boosting inspections of licensed gun dealers and stricter reporting of lost and stolen weapons.

Both Republicans and Democrats on Sunday were asked about Obama's intention to once again go around Congress, in this case to expand background checks.

"Let's enforce the laws we have," Republican Carly Fiorina told CNN's "State of the Union" with Dana Bash on Sunday.

"We have long lists of criminals who own guns, who routinely purchase guns. We know who these people are, and we are not prosecuting any of them. Actually, we're prosecuting less than 1 percent of them," Fiorina said.

"And that's why you get a situation like, say, Chicago, where you have very tight gun control laws and incredible levels of gun violence.
It's how you get a situation like South Carolina (the mass shooting in a church), where someone who never should have been permitted to purchase a gun got to purchase a gun, because, somehow, they dropped in the cracks."

Bash asked Fiorina if she opposes Obama's use of executive order to get his way on guns as well as the policy itself: "You don't think background checks should be expanded?" she asked Fiorina.

"I think we need to enforce the laws we have," Fiorina responded. "And we are not doing so. And what that means, because we're not enforcing the laws we have, we have people like Dylann Roof in South Carolina who never should have been sold a gun. And we have loads of criminals running around with guns and perpetrating violence with those guns, and we're not prosecuting them.

"Meantime, Barack Obama has not presented the American people with a clear plan to keep this nation safe.

"We learned two days ago that our own Homeland Security doesn't even know the people who are in this nation who have overstayed a visa. That's a big problem, given what we now know about San Bernardino." (Bash changed the subject.)

Also appearing on "State of the Union," Democrat socialist Bernie Sanders of Vermont -- a state where many of his constituents own guns -- said he would "prefer" that Obama get bipartisan support for his gun control plans, "but the truth is, Republicans are not interested in doing anything about gun safety."

Sanders also said he believes that Obama is "doing what the American people would like him to do."

"I think the vast majority of the American people are horrified by the mass shootings that we have seen," Sanders said. "They want action. Overwhelming consensus understands that people who are criminals, people who have mental issues should not be owning guns or buying guns.

"And what the president is trying to do now is to expand the instant background check by closing the gun show loophole. And I think he's doing what the American people would like him to do."

Bash asked Sanders if his gun-owning constituents will object to his support for expanded background checks, "especially done without Congress?"

"Well, I -- look, look, gun safety issues are very, very controversial," Sanders replied.

"We are a divided nation. But I think most gun owners in this country understand that people who should not own guns should not be able to buy them. And we do need to expand the instant background check. I don't think that's an onerous burden on anybody.

"And by the way, from what I have seen, the vast majority of the American people agree with that sentiment. Obviously, D. But we're not seeing the Republicans doing anything on this issue. And I think the president is doing what the American people would like him to do," he repeated.

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