Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Gun Control: Biden Sees Early Consensus, but NRA Cries Foul

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Gun Control: Biden Sees Early Consensus, but NRA Cries Foul

Article excerpt

Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday the outlines of a consensus are emerging on how to address gun violence in America, including universal background checks on gun buyers and limits on high-capacity ammunition magazines.

Mr. Biden also said that he is committed to presenting his recommendations to President Obama next Tuesday.

There is a surprising, so far, recurrence of suggestions that we have universal background checks," Biden said. He added that he had never heard so much spontaneous talk about doing something about high-capacity magazines.

But that was before any of his meetings Thursday, first with sports-hunting and wildlife groups and later with groups that support the rights of gun owners. The National Rifle Association, Americas largest gun-rights organization, which sent a representative to the second meeting, is crying foul.

"We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment," the NRA said in a statement after the meeting, which its legislative director attended with Biden and several cabinet secretaries.

The statement continued: "While claiming that no policy proposals would be 'prejudged,' this task force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans. It is unfortunate that this administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation's most pressing problems. We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen."

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The negative tone of the NRA statement contrasted with the impressions of another participant in the meeting, Richard Feldman, president of the Independent Firearm Owners Association.

It was a conversation and not a lecture, Mr. Feldman said in an interview after the meeting. I thought they listened, he said, speaking of Biden and the cabinet members in the room, including Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. …

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