* Obama's move on guns may have only modest effect on violence* Sohn: Holt exemplifies Tennessee's shallow reaction to gun safety * Obama measures wouldn't have kept guns from mass shooters * Tennessee representative tells President Obama to 'shove it' * Obama says he's not plotting to grab all guns * Gun 'salesman of the year' is Obama; stores say president is good for business * Obama takes action to widen background checks for gun sales* Obama starts 2016 with a fight over gun control
The response from area residents and lawmakers was mixed Tuesday afternoon after President Barack Obama's announcement to impose more restrictions on guns.
One measure would narrow what Obama has called a "gun show loophole" that has allowed unlicensed dealers to sell firearms on an individual-to-individual basis at gun shows without requiring a background check.
Some, including licensed gun dealers, said they believe Obama is trying to take a step in the right direction.
Others said this move is another example of the president trying to sidestep Congress.
Trent Murrell, a sales associate at Shooter's Depot, said the decision is a good call and is likely going to help his business. Legally, buyers will only be able to go through businesses or individuals who have a federal firearms license, like Murrell.
Enforcing that requirement may cut down on the number of problematic sales he sees happening at gun shows, Murrell said.
"You have people walking around with a backpack that has a bunch of guns in it, and they'll sell to whoever they want so long as they get the right price for it," Murrell said.
In these situations, he said, the seller typically doesn't know if the buyer has a criminal past or a history of mental illness.
Kristi Manning, the owner of Carter Shooting Supply, echoed Murrell.
She also said because she does background checks, she can guarantee she has never sold a firearm to a known criminal. Manning added she does not believe requiring background checks infringes on the Second Amendment.
However, she said, criminals will always be able to get firearms if they want them. Making it harder for citizens to legally acquire firearms is not the solution, she said, but "how to stop it or make it better, I don't know."
Republican Tennessee lawmakers took aim at Obama, saying his proposal infringes on Americans' rights.
"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," Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said. "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."
The president of the Chattanooga Tea Party, Mark West, contended Obama's actions were completely outside the bounds of his authority.
West said Obama is sidestepping Congress by pushing an executive order "rather than following the Constitution and our republic form of government, which requires that he go to Congress and try to rally support for whatever initiatives he may have."
He said Obama's action Tuesday was "closer to that of an emperor than the president of a republic. He wants to go outside the mechanism that our founders established, and hopefully our Congress will stand up to him."
West said the "gun show loophole" that Obama is seeking to close doesn't exist.
"If I want to sell a gun to my friend, what business does the government have in that?" he said.
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga sophomore Shaianne Gilmer approved of Obama's effort.
"I think this is a good thing, because if you sell someone a gun, you don't know what they're going to do with it," Gilmer said. "I wouldn't want someone walking around and selling guns."
Fellow student Aaron Davis agreed.
"I do support the move. This is supposed to be a free country, but we all have to follow laws for safety."
But for some private dealers who hold federal firearms licenses, the current attitude in several levels of government and recent legislation indicates a potential erosion of that freedom, even if the executive order wasn't the end of the world.
Chattanooga firearms license holder Paul Walters said the proposal was "less involved than I thought it would be. Everything he passed doesn't have teeth."
The order won't have a major impact on the current state of gun ownership in America, Walters said.
He said what is far scarier for gun owners is what could happen on the state or local level moving forward.
But he said in Tennessee, there isn't much chance that gun ownership laws will be changing any time soon.
Contact staff writer Emmett Gienapp at email@example.com or 423-757-6731.
* 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."