House Speaker Paul Ryan: Obama's actions on guns as 'a distraction'

Story highlights

  • Paul Ryan says the White House should be paying more attention to terrorism than moves to address gun sales
  • Calls Obama's move 'a distraction'

Washington (CNN)House Speaker Paul Ryan ripped President Barack Obama on Wednesday, saying he should be more focused on combating terrorism than issuing new executive actions to address gun sales.

"I think it would be nice if he would actually focus on defeating ISIS, on calling radical Islamic terrorism what it is, instead of talking about how we can intimidate and frustrate the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens," Ryan said at a press conference on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
Ryan didn't rule out suing the administration to block its executive actions to expand background checks for private guns sales, saying, "we will look at all of our options but we will not take this distraction for more than it is -- a distraction." He argued that the problem that the administration says it is addressing -- sales of guns to those who don't get vetted by private dealers -- doesn't exist, saying "there isn't a loophole."
After the President announced his plans on Tuesday, many Republicans insisted the move wouldn't survive a legal challenge, and some GOP candidates running for president vowed to undo the order if elected in 2016.