January 16, 2013

Sen. Paul unveils plan to stop assault on Second Amendment

Guests: Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," January 16, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: After listening to the 23 executive actions our president announced today, my next guest has decided to stand up to "King Obama." In a "Hannity" exclusive, Senator Rand Paul is unveiling new legislation to stop Obama's assault on your Second Amendment rights.

He is here to explain it all himself, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Senator, you did say that we don't have an imperial president and you did say that he didn't have the right to do this. How can you stop it?

SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY.: You know, our Founding Fathers were very concerned about having a separation of powers, they didn't want to let the president become a king. And so, they wanted to say that Congress was the one to legislate, not the president.

So we have a bill that we're going to introduce early next week and in this bill, we will nullify anything the president does that smacks of legislation. And there are several of the executive orders that appear as if he's writing new law. That cannot happen. We struck down once -- the court struck Clinton down for trying this and I'm afraid that President Obama may have this king complex sort of developing and we're going to make sure that it doesn't happen.

HANNITY: But it's not the first time that he's done this, and I mentioned this earlier in the program, he didn't seek Congressional authority when he used military strikes on Libya, recess appointments, the Senate wasn't in recess, he couldn't get the Dream Act passed, so, an executive order to allow illegal immigrants to stay in the country. ObamaCare, obviously, he used the reconciliation process, they wouldn't defend the defense of marriage act. The weakened welfare work requirements and the contraceptive mandate, all without congressional approval. So, is it all unconstitutional in your view?

PAUL: Yes, and I think there's a history of this arrogance, you know, because, with regard to environmental extremism, cap-and-trade, he couldn't get cap-and-trade through Congress and now he's trying to do it through regulatory fiat. So, yes, there's a lot of precedent for this.

But it's been a long battle that we've been losing gradually and even Republican presidents have also usurped their executive privilege to exert more authority than the constitution gave them. But, you know, our founders looked to Montesquieu, and Montesquieu wrote that there can be no liberty when you combine the executive and legislative powers. You have separation of powers, so the powers check and balance each other, and I'm very concerned about this president. FDR had a little bit of this king complex also. We had to limit FDR finally because he served so many terms that I think he would have ruled in perpetuity. I'm very concerned about this president garnering so much power and arrogance that he thinks he can do whatever he wants.

HANNITY: Well, many Democrats in the Senate support you, obviously you guys are in the minority. And tell us about the legislation.

PAUL: Well, you know, you would hope so, but you know, when we tried with Libya, when the president went to war in Libya without Congressional authority, he did it and I had a vote in the Senate and only 10 senators supported me, they were all Republican.

So really, this idea of checks and balances and separation of powers should be a fundamental one that Democrats and Republicans alike would support, but I'm afraid that there isn't much support on the Democrat's side, but we'll see.

HANNITY: On the legislative side of what the president is proposing, even Harry Reid said, he didn't think the ban on assault weapons would get through. Do you agree with that analysis?

PAUL: I think so. I think there are a few Democrats that will worry about going home to West Virginia or other states like that and voting for a ban on guns. So, I think there is a good chance we can stop his legislative action. I'm concerned he will try to do the regulatory fiat what he can't pass through legislation.

HANNITY: Let me ask you, and put up on the screen, and this infuriates me, because no matter what issue seems to get up, there's somebody in Washington, House or Senate that continues to play the race card. In this case, it's Representative Hank Johnson where he says, the NRA opposes Barack Obama's new gun laws and executive powers, he says, "First of all, he's black and as a black person, being the president of the United States, well, that's something they still cannot get over." Why does this keep coming up in Washington?

PAUL: Well, the interesting thing is, one of the most famous gun cases of the last few years is the McDonald case in Chicago. And it's an African-American gentleman defending himself and wanting to have a gun to defend himself, and the government of Chicago trying to prevent that from happening. And the Supreme Court said, the Second Amendment does apply to cities, that even cities like Chicago cannot on their own overturn the Second Amendment, but this was in defense of an African-American man who wanted to own a gun to defend himself and his family.

So, I don't think there's anything racist about this. Clarence Thomas, an African-American, one of our most famous justices, also has written in many of the early cases where white law is trying to take away guns from blacks.


PAUL: And if you look at the history of his content in the McDonald and the Heller case, you'll find that really gun laws and gun control laws have been used in the past to try and take guns away from African- Americans, so I see no racism at all in this.

HANNITY: Yes, by the way, Jesse Jackson said that assault weapons can shoot down airplanes, that's not true, right, Senator?

PAUL: That's a new one as far as I'm concerned.

HANNITY: All right, good to see you, Senator Rand Paul. We'll watch your legislation closely.

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