Biden Readies Gun Proposals for Obama ; Vice President Will Send Recommendations to White House Next Week

By Shear, Michael D | International Herald Tribune, January 11, 2013 | Go to article overview

Biden Readies Gun Proposals for Obama ; Vice President Will Send Recommendations to White House Next Week


Shear, Michael D, International Herald Tribune


Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. plans to give the White House proposals for stemming gun violence early next week, setting in motion legislative and executive actions to limit gun ownership.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said on Thursday that he would give President Barack Obama proposals for stemming gun violence early next week, setting in motion legislative and executive actions that will encompass guns, ammunition, mental health services and violent images in popular culture.

"I have committed to him I will have his recommendations to him by Tuesday," Mr. Biden said as he began meetings with hunting and sporting groups -- including the powerful National Rifle Association -- to discuss the gun issue.

Mr. Biden did not say whether he would recommend a renewal of the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.

But he cited several other measures, including efforts to limit the availability of high-capacity magazines for ammunition and the need for what he called "near-universal background checks" that would go beyond doing checks at gun shows.

"There has got to be some common ground, to not solve every problem but diminish the probability" of more mass shootings like the massacre last month at a school in Connecticut that killed 26 people, he said. "That's what this is all about."

Mr. Obama, who directed Mr. Biden to study how to curtail gun violence following the Connecticut shooting, has publicly backed a renewed ban on assault weapons, restrictions on high-capacity magazines and expanded background checks for gun purchases.

Mr. Biden has said that the White House is fully cognizant of the stiff battle any gun control effort will face in the Congress. He said that some steps might be taken by executive action, which require no Congressional approval.

Having met Wednesday with gun-control advocates, Mr. Biden spent much of Thursday in talks with gun-owners' groups and representatives of the entertainment industry, which faces pressure because of the violence in many movies and videogames.

In a statement Thursday, the N.R.A. said that the group was willing to discuss "reasonable proposals and plans" but would continue to represent "real Americans" who do not want any weakening of the constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms.

"We're willing to listen," the N.R.A. statement said, according to Politico.

Mr. Biden said Wednesday that the Obama administration was willing to listen, too, but would not be talked into inaction.

"The president is going to act," he said. "There is executive action that can be taken. We haven't decided what that is yet."

The most contentious issue facing the president will likely be whether to reinstate the assault-weapons ban.

Gun control groups are already trying to build public support for that effort, including one led by Mayor Michael R. …

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