GOP lawmaker warns of executive overstep on gun control

Grassley was critical of remarks Obama made earlier this month, when he urged Congress to impose new limits on gun ownership. In those remarks, Obama said unchecked gun violence denied Sikhs in Wisconsin the right to worship. Shoppers in Oregon and moviegoers in Colorado, he said, were denied the right to assemble peaceably.

“The president cited constitutional protections of individual rights as the basis for expanding federal power over the lives of private individuals,” Grassley said during the hearing.

He also pointed to Obama’s track record on the use of executive power and the recent court ruling finding three of his recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board to be unconstitutional.

“This is the same president who exceeded his power under the constitution to appoint recess appointments,” Grassley said. “So it's no wonder that Americans feel that the president might take executive action – and congress may enact legislation – that could lead to tyrannical federal government.”

Obama ordered 23 separate executive actions as part of his proposal to curtail violence, but the cornerstones of his plan – universal background checks and bans on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines – require Congressional action.