President's orders not received well at Fla. Capitol

Published On: Jan 30 2013 04:09:17 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 16 2013 04:22:22 PM EST
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

The president's gun control proposals and executive orders are not being received well at the Florida State Capitol.

The GOP-controlled Legislature has a long history of opposing gun control measures, and Republican lawmakers say it's not the president's job to make laws, adding that his orders Wednesday should have been put before Congress.

With children by his side, President Barack Obama announced a series of executive orders aimed at stopping mass shootings.

"In the days ahead, I intend to use whatever weight this office holds to make them a reality," he said.

Obama's 23 executive orders include strengthening background checks before gun sales, increasing funding for schools to hire more resource officers, and giving mental health workers more authority to report patients they deem a threat.

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Minutes after the announcement, many lawmakers at the state Capitol said the president's actions were out of bounds.

Republicans, who have a majority in the state House and Senate, say Congress should have had a say-so on the measures.

"There's no reason why the president should be treating this issue any different than any other piece of legislation he wants to champion," Rep. Jimmy Patronis said.

"That's circumventing another branch of government and that's the legislature, and you know, he may not be happy with certain aspects of Congress, but he ought to deal with them," Sen. John Thrasher said.

Senate Minority Leader Chris Smith supports the actions taken by the president.

"I think it's fabulous that he's doing that," Smith said. "He's not just looking at guns but looking at it as a holistic approach."

Smith says gun control measures in the state Legislature, however, don't stand a change.

"The (National Rifle Association) has such a strong grip on the Florida Legislature that it is going to be hard for us to pass anything," Smith said.

Not all Republicans thought all the executive orders were bad ideas, but they doubt the measures will stop even one deranged gunman bent on murder.

Republicans in the Florida House and Senate also take issue with the president using kids to make his announcement. They called it a cheap political stunt. Democrats say the kids belong on stage because they are the one the president is trying to protect.