President Barack Obama said he is reviewing a list of proposals to reduce gun violence and plans to begin unveiling the specifics of his plan later this week.
“We’re going to have to come up with answers that set politics aside,” he said at a White House news conference today. “And that’s what I expect Congress to do.”
Obama listed strengthening background checks, banning assault weapons and limits on high-capacity ammunition magazines as initiatives that “make sense.”
Obama pushed reducing gun violence to the top of his domestic agenda for his second term, following the Dec. 14 shooting of 20 children and six women at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Vice President Joe Biden, who is heading up an administration-wide anti-gun violence task force, said last week he’d deliver recommendations to Obama by tomorrow.
At his news conference today, the president said the U.S. public supports “common sense” limits on firearms and that any measures he takes won’t infringe on the rights of gun owners. He accused opponents of gun control of “ginning up fear” over possible measures his administration might take in order to sell more weapons.
“Responsible gun owners, people who have a gun for protection, for hunting, for sportsmanship, they don’t have anything to worry about,” Obama said.
Still, he alluded to the political difficulties of getting his proposals passed by a Republican-controlled House during this term.
“Will all of them get through this Congress?” he said. “I don’t know.”
Biden and his advisers have signaled that the White House intends to push a package of proposals that includes expanding background checks, limiting high-capacity ammunition magazines, and a renewal of the 1994 assault-weapons ban.
To contact the reporter on this story: Lisa Lerer in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at email@example.com