GOP candidates hammer Obama's executive action on guns

GOP presidential candidates are hammering President Obama over his reported executive action on guns.

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Republican front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSanders fires back at Trump: 'Never tweet' Trump attacks Dem rivals but quiet on Michelle Obama FULL SPEECH: Bernie Sanders pleads for unity behind Clinton MORE and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) are threatening to overturn the gun control measures if elected president, while former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina are also criticizing the move.

In an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” Christie called Obama a “petulant child” who goes around Congress “whenever he can’t get what he wants."

“This president wants to act as if he’s a king, as if he’s a dictator,” Christie said.

“The fact is, if he wants to make changes to these laws, go to Congress and convince them that they’re necessary,” he continued. “But this is going to be another illegal executive action, which I’m sure will be rejected by the courts, and when I become president will be stricken from executive action."

The Department of Justice is expected in the coming days to hand down new restrictions on guns.

Obama, who originally said he would consider issuing an executive order on guns in October, said Friday he will meet with Attorney General Loretta Lynch to “discuss options” for reducing gun violence.

But the move is wildly unpopular with Republicans.

Trump was among the first to fire back at the president over his executive order on guns, vowing on Saturday to overturn it if elected president.

"We're not changing the Second Amendment,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Biloxi, Miss., where he warned of an “assault” on the rights of gun owners.

"I will veto that. I will unsign that so fast," Trump said.

Obama’s executive order on guns would likely require more federally licensed gun dealers to conduct background checks.

Gun control advocates say expanding background checks would help prevent guns from falling into the hands of dangerous people.

But Bush questioned that line of reasoning.

"The so-called gun show loophole doesn’t exist,” the former Florida governor told “Fox News Sunday." "People who want to occasionally sell guns ought to have the right to do so without being impaired by the federal government.”

Bush said the executive order on guns would be “completely inappropriate.”

“[President Obama’s] first impulse always is to take rights away from law-abiding citizens,” Bush told Fox. “And it’s wrong. And to use executive powers he doesn’t have is a pattern that is quite dangerous.”

Fiorina, the former business executive who is selling herself as the conservative alternative to Hillary Clinton, called the gun order “unconstitutional.” She also suggested the president should turn his attention to foreign policy.

“President Obama has been a lawless president in his use of executive orders, whether those executive orders are around immigration or whether those executive orders are around gun control,” the GOP presidential hopeful said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“And it is delusional, dangerous, not to mention unconstitutional for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to continue to talk about climate change and gun control in the wake of a Paris terrorist attack, a San Bernardino terrorist attack, instead of talking about a plan to defeat [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria],” she added.

Democrats, however, lauded the move.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the Democratic presidential candidate who has often been criticized by gun control groups for his pro-gun positions, accused Republicans of forcing Obama’s hand.

“Republicans are not interested in doing anything about gun safety,” Sanders told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I think the vast majority of the American people are horrified by the mass shootings that we have seen. They want action.”

This report was updated at 1:30 p.m.

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