Conservative group sues to block White House gun control recommendations

A conservative activist group is suing the White House’s gun violence task force in an effort to block a sweeping set of new restrictions on firearms to be unveiled Wednesday.

FreedomWatch, founded by attorney Larry Klayman, argues that the task force held illegal meetings with lobbyists and did not give proper public notice. The group filed a lawsuit in a Florida federal court, seeking to shut down the task force and block any of its proposals from implementation.

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“President Obama and Vice President Biden have thumbed their nose at the law and instead been holding closed door meetings with special interest lobbyists on both sides of the issue,” Klayman charged in a written statement. “The American people, whose rights to gun ownership stem from colonial times and are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, are being illegally shut out of the process.”

The White House did not respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.

Obama, who created the task force following last month’s elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., is set to unveil his gun-control proposals shortly before noon.

The plan reflects the largest federal effort to reduce U.S. gun violence in almost two decades, and will include a combination of legislative proposals and measures that could be accomplished through executive orders.

FreedomWatch contends that the task force violated the 1972 Federal Advisory Committee Act, which requires presidential task forces including non-federal government officials to meet in public and publish notice of meetings in the Federal Register 15 days ahead of time.

Klayman said the Gun Control Task Force violated that law in its “zeal to use this tragedy for political purposes and to try to ram quickly increased legislative gun control measures, if not gun confiscation and/or significant infringement through executive order, down the throats of the American people – in violation of Second Amendment rights.”

While the task force solicited input from the a wide array of private industry officials and advocacy groups, they were not named by the White House as formal members of the group.