Tennessee representative tells President Obama to 'shove it'

Barack Obama and Andy Holt
Barack Obama and Andy Holt

Tennessee State Representative Andy Holt sent a letter to President Obama today, telling him to "take your gun control and shove it."

The aggressive statement comes just after the president's announcement that he will take executive action to tighten restrictions on gun purchases by implementing more thorough background checks.

Holt, of District 76, cited James Madison's Federalist Paper #46. In it the founding father said that states have the power to oppose the federal government through legislation. He referenced, for example, HB1341, a policy that bars the State from supporting the enforcement of federal gun control measures.


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Holt said the constitutionality of Obama's actions is irrelevant due to the fact that the president cannot make states enforce federal policy.

"If the feds want to enforce the law, then they can come here and do it themselves," he said.

Gun control is one of the most contentious topics in Washington and in the upcoming election. While there is a lot of support for expanding background checks for the purchasing and selling of guns, many Republicans are against any new restrictions on firearms and are particularly troubled by Obama's use of executive action, saying it infringes on Second Amendment rights.

However, the president contends that it is possible to follow the Second Amendment while taking action to address gun violence. He delivered an emotional statement earlier today, saying that taking action for stricter gun control is "not a plot to take away everybody's guns."

Regardless, Holt said states may refuse unpopular jurisdiction, ending his letter with #MolonLabe, a Greek expression meaning "come and get them."

Local reactions

* Rep. Chuck Fleischmann - "Yet again the President has taken to grandstanding instead of addressing real issues. Rather than focusing on criminals and terrorists, these executive actions go after the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. As a House Appropriator, I have led successful efforts to defund his previous anti-gun executive actions and I will work to do the same with these." * Sen. Bob Corker - "It's not hard to understand why so many Tennesseans fear that the president will abuse his authority and act in a way that infringes upon their Second Amendment rights," said Corker. "Like most Americans, I want to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and dangerous mentally ill people, but the president's expected unilateral actions would be divisive and detrimental to real solutions. After reviewing the details, I will work with my colleagues to respond appropriately to ensure the Constitution is respected." * Rep. Scott DesJarlais - "Infringing upon law-abiding Americans' Second Amendment rights will do nothing to curb gun violence. Rather, President Obama should focus on real threats to our safety like radical Islamic terrorists." * Sen. Lamar Alexander - "First, the president should send his proposal to Congress instead of making yet another end run around it. Second, I will look closely at any proposed gun control with a single focus-to determine whether it infringes upon or strengthens Second Amendment constitutional rights." * Rep. Andy Holt - "Essentially, if the feds want to enforce the law, then they can come here and do it themselves. You and your friends on the Left often yell and scream while calling those who support this type of resistance to federal power "neo-confederates" and so on. However, your friends seem more than willing to practice resistance to federal power when it comes to Colorado's marijuana operation, or California's sanctuary cities, and you are more than willing to look the other way while it happens. Therefore, the State of Tennessee is more than willing to tell you Mr. President, if you want to enforce your unconstitutional executive orders... come on down to Rocky Top and do it yourself." * Rep. Stephen Fincher - "President Obama has no business trampling on our Second Amendment rights. The President's decision to punish law-abiding Americans is nothing more than an ongoing diversion tactic used to draw attention away from his inability to keep Americans safe from terror attacks. On his watch, there have been seven major Islamic terror strikes on U.S. soil in the last seven years. Instead of continuing to double down on his own failed policies, the President should be focused on implementing a comprehensive strategy to defeat radical Islamic terrorism – one that doesn't involve stripping law abiding citizens of their Constitutional rights. "None of the executive orders the President put forth today would have prevented these horrific attacks from happening. Nor will these executive orders do anything to prevent criminals from obtaining firearms, but they will make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights. The President should stop circumventing Congress and ignoring the will of the American people. As a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, I am completely opposed to the President's actions and I will do everything in my power to uphold our Second Amendment rights." * Ga. Rep. Tom Graves - "Once again, the president is acting like a dictator, attempting to bypass Congress in order to implement rules and regulations that the American people don't want. This time, the president is exceeding his authority by issuing executive orders designed to restrict Second Amendment rights. The president's actions are an insult to law-abiding Americans and an assault on the Constitutional separation of powers. I will continue to fight the president's radical gun control agenda." * State Sen. Bo Watson - "Do I believe that the president should be making these kinds of executive orders? The answer is no," Watson said. "And I think Tennessee has every right to challenge those executive orders States have a right to say no. But when all is said and done, we have to comply with the constitution of the United States."

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