Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio says President Obama’s executive actions to tighten restrictions on buying guns show Obama considers the constitution an annoyance.

“I honestly believe that it was up to him and the people that work around him, they would get rid of the Second Amendment,” Rubio says. “If they could confiscate and take away guns from law-biding Americans, they would do it. They can’t do that constitutionally. They know they don’t have political support to do that, so instead they try to undermine it any way possible.”

Rubio says he’d like Obama to show proof that mass shootings could be prevented with the restrictions he’s proposing.

“All of these rules he comes up with, he never cites a specific case that could have been prevented as a result of it because there aren’t any,” Rubio says. “And he never recognizes that gun laws don’t impact criminals because criminals don’t care what the law is. They violate the law as a matter of course because they are criminals…We are going to protect the Second Amendment when I’m president.”

Obama says his executive order will plug a loophole that has allowed small scale gun sellers to escape background-check requirements by failing to register as licensed dealers. Rubio says that won’t keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

“The only people that are going to go through background checks are law-abiding citizens that purchase their guns legally,” Rubio says. “Criminals mostly get their guns on the black market. They’re not going to go through a gun dealer or a background check because they’re criminals.”

Rubio says President Obama “doesn’t want to talk about” the root causes of gun violence.

“Why have we become a culture where teenagers are shooting at each other in a drug war and don’t care about which innocent bystander is caught in the mix? Why are we a country that every day has to wake up to the news that another innocent child was caught in the crossfire between two thugs that were shooting at each other? It’s because there’s been a loss of values and loss of respect for life in this country and that’s not an issue the federal government can solve through laws and programs,” Rubio says. “We need to solve that in our homes, in our communities, in our churches and synagogues. We need to solve that in our individual role as parents and spouses and members and volunteers of a community.”

Rubio made his remarks during a telephone interview with KGLO Radio.

Rubio is making campaign stops today in Cedar Rapids, Mason City and Fort Dodge.

(Reporting by Bob Fisher, KGLO/KRIB, Mason City)