Suburban lawmakers react to Obama on guns: a step forward or poison

  • President Barack Obama, joined by Vice President Joe Biden and gun violence victims, speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington Tuesday.

    President Barack Obama, joined by Vice President Joe Biden and gun violence victims, speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington Tuesday. Associated Press

  • Mike Howse, left, helps David Foley as he shops for a handgun at the Spring Guns and Amo store Monday, Jan. 4, 2016, in Spring, Texas.

    Mike Howse, left, helps David Foley as he shops for a handgun at the Spring Guns and Amo store Monday, Jan. 4, 2016, in Spring, Texas. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 1/6/2016 4:57 AM

Local Democrats said the fight over guns should continue in Congress after President Barack Obama's executive actions today, and Republicans said the president's move could "poison the well" when it comes to future debates.

Obama's move would, among other things, require more gun show vendors to do background checks on buyers.

 

Suburban Democrats applauded the move and said Congress should do more.

"While these actions are much needed, they alone are not enough," said U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, a Naperville Democrat. "It's time for members of Congress to stand up against the special interests that have blocked every reasonable effort to curb gun violence and take action."

Democratic Reps. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston and Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates made similar statements.

Republicans, though, control the House and Senate, and U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren of Plano sharply criticized Obama for making the move without Congress.

"Americans shouldn't have to bring their lawyer to a gun show, nor should they fear a knock at the door because they sold or traded legal firearms to their relatives or other gun collectors," he said.

Hultgren's office said Congress should work to stop Obama's moves from being implemented, and legal challenges could be expected, too.

Republican Rep. Bob Dold of Kenilworth was in the middle, telling the Daily Herald editorial board Monday that additional background checks would be a "common sense step forward" but saying Obama moving forward without Congress could "poison the well" for the future.

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"My concern is obviously on the process," Dold said.

Dold is facing a re-election campaign against either Democrat Brad Schneider or Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering, who have both also tried to make guns a key issue in the campaign.

"As a long time advocate for common sense gun reform I'm thrilled to see President Obama take a pivotal step toward making our communities safer," Schneider said.

And Rotering has touted a recent Supreme Court decision upholding Highland Park's ban on assault weapons.

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