Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott has dismissed President Joe Biden’s newly announced executive measures aimed at tackling gun violence as “a show” that infringes upon Americans' right to bear firearms under the Second Amendment.
Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” Abbott rejected the idea that gun control measures could be passed via executive order.
“I think that there is no acceptable way that a president by executive order can infringe upon Second Amendment rights or alter Second Amendment rights,” the governor said.
“[I]f the president wanted to do something more than show...if the president really wanted to do something substantively, what he really could do by executive order is to eliminate the backlog of complaints that have already been filed about gun crimes that have taken place,” he continued.
Biden on Thursday signed a series of executive orders to address the “epidemic” of gun violence, and specifically to rein in the so-called “ghost guns,” firearms that can be assembled at home without serial numbers.
The measures were unveiled in the wake of two mass shootings in Colorado and Georgia that killed 18 people and renewed called for gun safety reform.
Biden said rising gun-related deaths in America is an “international embarrassment” and urged both Congress and state governments to take steps to combat what he called the “public health crisis.”
Several senior Republicans swiftly criticized Biden’s executive measures, with Governor Abbott being one of the first and loudest voices on the right to slam the move as “a liberal power grab.”
“We will NOT allow this in TX,” Abbott tweeted Thursday, while pledging to enact legislation to prevent the state from enforcing any gun control measures imposed by the federal government.
Republican Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota also echoed Abbott’s stance in a tweet, denouncing Biden’s actions as an “infringement” of the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.
“Taking away guns with Red Flag laws is an infringement,” Noem wrote. “Placing new limits on firearms sales is an infringement.”
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy also weighed in on Twitter, saying the new measures by the Biden administration will “surely result in unconstitutional overreach.”
“Republicans will strongly oppose and pursue every option—be it legislative or judicial—to protect the right to keep and bear arms,” McCarthy tweeted.
In announcing his actions, Biden forcefully rejected the GOP’s argument on gun control.
“They're phony arguments, suggesting that these are Second Amendment rights at stake,” Biden said of his executive measures. “Everything that's being proposed today is totally consistent with the Second Amendment.”
Congressional Democrats overwhelmingly embraced Biden's executive actions and said that the measures will “save lives.”