Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is proposing legislation to nullify President Obama's executive actions on gun policy, claiming that the president's actions are a breach of constitutional separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches.
During a Wednesday appearance on Fox News' "Hannity," the Republican senator outlined his plan to challenge Obama's anti-gun violence package.
"Our founding fathers were very concerned about us having separation of powers. They didn't want to let the president become a king." Paul said. "In this bill, we will nullify anything the president does that smacks of legislation."
Paul continued: "I'm afraid that President Obama may have this king complex sort of developing ... I think there's a history of this arrogance."
Talking Points Memo offered more details on Paul's plan:
“We only have descriptions of the executive actions, yet many could be construed to describe an attempt by the executive to make laws in violation of the Article 1, Sec. 8 of the Constitution and the 2nd Amendment,” reads the one-page summary of the Paul plan shared with TPM by his staff.
Paul’s bill will set out to nullify Obama’s executive actions, deny any federal funding for their implementation, and allow members of Congress and state officials to challenge the actions in court.
Paul acknowledged that he may have trouble garnering support for his proposal in the Senate, where Democrats hold the majority.
"This idea of checks and balances and separation of powers should be a fundamental one," Paul said. "I'm afraid that there isn't much support on the Democratic side, but we'll see."
Earlier Wednesday, Obama unveiled his recommendations to Congress on how to reform gun control policy, and announced the implementation of 23 executive actions. The Huffington Post's Sam Stein and John Rudolf report:
The proposal, which comes at the end of a month-long review process spearheaded by Vice President Joe Biden, is broken down into four key subsections: law enforcement, the availability of dangerous firearms and ammunition, school safety and mental health.
In an effort to touch on all four of those elements, the president recommended requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales; reinstating the assault weapons ban; restoring a 10-round limit on ammunition magazines; eliminating armor-piercing bullets; providing mental health services in schools; allocating funds to hire more police officers; and instituting a federal gun trafficking statute, among other policies. The cost of the package, senior officials estimated, would be roughly $500 million, some of which could come from already budgeted funds.
Because these recommendations require congressional approval, the administration is supplementing its proposal with 23 executive actions that will be taken immediately. Those actions include requiring federal agencies to hand over relevant data for a background check system; providing law enforcement officials, first responders and school officials with better training for active shooting situations; directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence; and many more.
"I intend to use whatever weight this office holds to make them a reality," Obama said of his recommendations. "If there's even one life that can be saved, then we've got an obligation to try."
Obama's proposals were met with outcry from conservatives and guns rights groups, including the National Rifle Association.
"Attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis we face as a nation," read a statement released by the NRA. "Only honest, law-abiding gun owners will be affected and our children will remain vulnerable to the inevitability of more tragedy."
One lawmaker, Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.), suggested that Obama could be impeached over the executive actions.
“It is one of those times in our history, we are at this breaking point,” Radel said. “We have completely lost our checks and balances in this country, the Congress needs to hold the president accountable for the decisions that he’s making right now, and that why again, I would say that all options should be on the table.”
And in Tennessee, a Republican state representative proposed legislation that would ban the enforcement of any new federal gun laws implemented as a result of Obama's proposals, claiming that the president's actions mark a "blatant assault on the Second Amendment."
Earlier this week, Paul told CBN News that he believed any executive action taken by Obama on gun policy would be monarchical.
"I'm against having a king," Paul said. "I think having a monarch is what we fought the American Revolution over and someone who wants to bypass the Constitution, bypass Congress -- that's someone who wants to act like a king or a monarch."
Also on HuffPost:
Increase Access To Background Check Data
Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
Remove Legal Barriers On Background Checks
Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.
Incentivize Sharing Of Background Check Data
Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.
Review Criteria For Gun Ownership
Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.
Background Checks For Returning Seized Guns?
Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.
More Guidance On Background Checks
Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.
Safe & Responsible Gun Ownership
Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
Gun Lock & Safes
Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).
Improve Gun Tracking In Criminal Investigations
Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.
Report On Lost & Stolen Guns
Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.
Nominate a director for Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.
Training For Law Enforcement
Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.
Maximize Enforcement Efforts On Gun Crime
Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
Increase Research On Gun Violence
Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.
Prioritize New Gun Technology
Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies
Clarify Obamacare On Doctors & Guns
Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.
Inform Doctors On Reporting Threats
Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.
School Resource Officers
Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.
Develop Emergency Response Plans
Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.
Clarify Scope Of Medicaid's Mental Health Coverage
Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.
Finalize ACA Regulations
Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.
Address Mental Health Parity
Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.
Start Dialogue On Mental Health
Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.