Great Falls Tribune: Montana’s GOP leaders criticize president’s action on guns

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The two Republican members of Montana’s congressional delegation criticized President Barack Obama’s executive action on gun control Tuesday, calling it unlawful and an attack on the Second Amendment.

“President Obama is jeopardizing the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans with his latest efforts to undermine the Second Amendment,” Sen. Steve Daines said via email. “It is a gross abuse of executive authority for the president to unilaterally move forward his ineffective, anti-gun agenda with the stroke of his pen.”

He said he would continue to fight the president’s “endless assault on Montanans’ Second Amendment rights.”

Rep. Ryan Zinke accused the president of overstepping his bounds.

“Once again, President Obama is failing America and putting our nation at risk,” Zinke said via email. “Congress has already spoken and voted against these types of unconstitutional gun grabs, and I will do everything in my power to stop and defund his agenda.”

However, Montana’s lone congressional Democrat, Sen. Jon Tester, said via email the president’s announcement “speaks to the dysfunction of Congress” and its failure to tackle tough issues.”

“I’m looking closely at this to make sure that it doesn’t infringe on our Second Amendment rights or erode our western values while also protecting us from folks who would do us harm,” Tester said.

Tester noted in his email that he supports closing the loophole that allows people to buy guns at gun shows without a background check and voted for the bipartisan Manchin-Toomey bill on background checks in 2013.