At the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch defended Obama’s recent executive actions on gun control, stating that they were “well within existing legal authorities.” The Senate Appropriations Committee, chaired by Republican Richard Shelby from Alabama, oversees the Department of Justice.
According to CNS News, Attorney General Lynch stated before the committee, “I have complete confidence that the common sense steps announced by the President are lawful.” In her prepared remarks, she also added that the President’s executive actions on gun control were “well-reasoned measures, well within existing legal authorities, built on work that’s already underway.” She continued:
“As the list of tragedies involving firearms has grown, so has the American people’s belief that we must do more to stem the tide of gun violence, and this administration is committed to doing our part.”
Whether the President’s executive actions are legal or not will be the subject of at least one subsequent lawsuit filed by Freedom Works that names President Obama, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and the head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) as defendants.
The Attorney General’s statements on gun violence are at odds with statistics reported by the FBI. According to their website, the homicides committed with firearms has been on the decline.
In 2014, there were 8,124 total gun homicides, of which 248 were committed with rifles. Just four years before in 2010, there were 8,874 total gun murders, of which 367 were committed with rifles. The vast majority of gun murders are committed with handguns.