Texas governor Greg Abbott has issued a threatening response to Barack Obama's plans to revolutionise gun control in the US. On New Year's Day, during his weekly address, the US president announced he will be consulting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, on Monday 4 January, to see how he could use executive action to bypass the US Congress and enact gun controls.
In his address, Obama outlined a number of his perceived achievements but said that gun control was one issue that remained "unfinished". He criticised the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA) and said that he had received too many letters from bereaved Americans because of a gun violence epidemic in the nation.
"The gun lobby is loud and well organised in its defence of effortlessly available guns for anyone," said Obama. "The rest of us are going to have to be just as passionate and well organized in our defence of our kids."
Obama recently directed White House staff to look into taking steps to sidestep Congress on the fraught subject of gun control using executive action. With a likely motion to increase the use of stringent background checks – especially at gun shows where unlicensed salesman can sell weapons to unlicensed purchasers.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott took to Twitter to offer his rebuff to the US president. Govenor Abbott tweeted: "Obama wants to impose more gun control. My response? COME & TAKE IT," he also mentioned the NRA in his tweet.
Potential republican candidate Donald Trump quickly told a rally in Biloxi, Mississippi, he would reverse any action if he was elected president. He said: "He can't do that. I will veto that. I will unsign that so fast, so fast."
As the row intensified a new Texas law allowing licensed handgun owners to openly carry their weapons in public went into effect. On 1 January, more than 100 gun supporters gathered on the steps of the Texas state capitol building with handguns holstered on their hips to celebrate the "open carry" law.
A spokesperson for Republican senator Ted Cruz told the Washington Post that the president's proposed actions were "complete lunacy". Catherine Frazier said: "President Obama is trying to distract Americans from his failure to address the true threat of radical Islamic terrorism, and instead going after the rights of law-abiding American citizens it is complete lunacy. If Ted Cruz is elected president, the lawlessness will end on day one, and Americans' personal liberties will be restored and protected."
The NRA passionately opposes expanded background check systems they state on their website: "No amount of background checks can stop these criminals". And, according to Fox News, on 2 January, NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said: "President Obama failed to pass his anti-gun agenda though Congress because the majority of Americans oppose more gun-control.
"Now he is doing what he always does when he doesn't get his way, which is defy the will of the people and issue an executive order."