Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, said on Friday that if President Obama implements an executive order expanding background check requirements for gun dealers, his group will “make a very public effort to openly defy the law” in what he described as a national version of the armed showdown at the Bundy ranch in Nevada.
Pratt’s group has gotten some very public support recently from GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz, who touted GOA’s endorsement in a presidential debate and recently sent a fundraising email on behalf of the group. The president of GOA also chairs Cruz’s Second Amendment Coalition.
Pratt told Aaron McIntire, who was guest-hosting Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace’s program, that GOA has a plan in the works to defy any such order. “If the president goes ahead and tries to do something for which he doesn’t have legal authority, let alone have constitutional authority, we’re going to make a very public effort to openly defy the law,” he said. “‘Come and get us’ would be, I guess, the flag flying here at Gun Owners of America.”
Pratt never specified what exactly open defiance of background check regulations would look like, but he said something like it happened “in a microcosm” at the Bundy ranch, where armed militia groups faced off against the Bureau of Land Management in defense of a rancher who had failed to pay more than $1 million in fees for using public land.
“I think it would be a major blunder for this administration to go ahead and initiate a gun control agenda that it admittedly cannot get through the Congress,” Pratt said. “The Constitution bars it as well. And yet for them to even talk about it gets people’s ire going pretty well and for them to actually try to do something I guarantee you will produce open defiance here at Gun Owners of America. I will have a courier deliver a letter to the White House announcing that you can take your extraordinary illegal and unconstitutional measures and you can clean your ear with them, because we’re not complying.”
“It’s just to the point where they’ve gone too far,” he continued. “They tried this in a microcosm in Bunkerville, Nevada. They had invaded a man’s land in a dispute over what was his proper use of it and while the matter was in court they weren’t going to wait, they were going to decide it with raw force. Well, that didn’t work out so well because the American people, armed, rallied to that rancher and came daily, toward the end hourly, to his ranch to defend him with guns. And so the federal government backed down. That was the Second Amendment at work in its full and robust fashion. And I would have thought the administration would have learned a lesson, but here we are in the last period of this president’s term … so I guess what we’re seeing is the full Obama, and it’s not very pretty.”