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Obama takes aim at 19 new gun measures

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 15, 2013

President Obama is considering 19 separate steps on gun control he can take without congressional action, as more ambitious measures such as a ban on military-style "assault weapons" face a tough sled through Congress amidst opposition from many lawmakers and gun-rights groups.

Those steps could include tougher measures on gun trafficking, freeing up federal agencies to conduct more research on gun control and giving schools flexibility to use grants to improve safety, the AP reported.

Mr. Obama said at a news conference Monday that he will unveil his proposals this week, which are likely to be a mix of items that would require Congressional approval and steps Mr. Obama could take on his own.

He has vowed to take meaningful action on gun violence after the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. last month. Vice President Joseph R. Biden, who was tapped to head a task force on the issue, huddled with Democratic lawmakers Monday and outlined some of the measures Mr. Obama could consider.

Mr. Biden, during the Monday meeting, did not indicate which proposals the President would take up or which he would present to the country this week.

A ban on military-style, so-called "assault weapons" is one measure likely to receive a tough reception from many on Capitol Hill. People ranging from National Rifle Association President David Keene to U.S. Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, have predicted such a measure would not make it through Congress.

Congress could also move to limit high-capacity ammunition clips and require universal background checks for gun buyers.

Mr. Obama acknowledged Monday the difficulty of getting some those items passed.

"Will all of them get through this Congress? I don't know," Mr. Obama said. "My starting point is not to worry about the politics. My starting point is to focus on what makes sense, what works."

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