Jan 21 2016

AL.com: Shelby vows to hold hearings on Obama's gun control executive actions

Shelby sent aletter to Lynch on Wednesday asking the attorney general to testify before his subcommittee later this month and again in February about the executive actions and the Justice Department's budget request for the next fiscal year.

"While I am open to examining any and all proposals to keep Americans safe from harm, I have grave concerns that the new rules that the president has put forward will unnecessarily restrict the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, while having no direct impact on reducing gun violence," Shelby wrote.

Original story: U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., vowed he would use his power over a Senate subcommittee to hold President Barack Obama accountable for his executive actions on gun control by attempting to withhold funding for Obama's initiatives in what the senator called an assault on the Second Amendment.

"I want people to have the right to bear arms," Shelby said Tuesday to the Red Mountain Republicans at Regions Field in Birmingham. "I've been around the block a little bit. I don't recall any president issuing as many executive orders like this president. He's the president of the United States. He's not a czar, he's not a king, he's not a dictator. My gosh."

Shelby is the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, which has jurisdiction over the Justice Department. Alabama's senior senator, who is running for re-election this year, said he would lead hearings into the executive orders on gun control and compel Attorney General Loretta Lynch to testify before the subcommittee.

The executive actions announced Tuesday by Obama would expand background checks on all gun sales conducted online and at gun shows. They would also hire more ATF and FBI agents to process the background checks and boost funding for mental health programs.

Shelby called the moves the "first step" in stripping Second Amendment rights, saying the president effectively told law-abiding Americans "we're going to take your guns away from you."

"Well I would remind the president that, you know, the Second Amendment is not a suggestion, it's the Constitution, the right to bear arms," the senator continued. "There are 300 million guns in America and millions of people got guns and they feel a little more secure with them."