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Mr. Obama said Monday that weapon and magazine bans deserve “a vote in Congress,” leading some to speculate that he is willing to settle for the more politically realistic prize of background checks. But White House press secretary Jay Carney pushed back on that notion Wednesday.

“The president firmly supports reinstatement of the assault weapons ban,” Mr. Carney said. “He has long supported that. He understands that these issues are difficult, that achieving them will not be easy. But he is committed to pressing forward on them and to enlisting the support of lawmakers, in both the House and the Senate, of both parties, in the effort.”