Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

White House looking for sharply increased gun control laws

By Reuters
January 6, 2013

Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House John Boehner( REUTERS/Jason Reed)

Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House John Boehner
( REUTERS/Jason Reed)

The White House is weighing a far broader approach to curbing U.S. gun violence than just reinstating a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, the Washington Post reported on Sunday.

A working group led by Vice President Joseph Biden is seriously considering measures that would require universal background checks for gun buyers and track the movement and sale of weapons through a national database, the newspaper said.

The measures would also strengthen mental health checks and stiffen penalties for carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors, the Post said. The approach is backed by law enforcement leaders, it said.

President Barack Obama assigned Biden the job of designing the strategy after the massacre at a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school last month that killed 20 children and six adults.

To sell such changes, the White House is developing strategies to work around the National Rifle Association (NRA), the powerful gun lobby.

They include rallying support from Wal-Mart Stores Inc and other gun retailers for measures that would benefit their businesses, the Post said.

NEW YORK MAYOR

The White House has been in contact with advisers to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a gun control advocate who could emerge as a surrogate for the administration’s agenda, the paper said.

The Post cited several people involved in the administration’s talks on gun control for its story. They included Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum.

The White House had no immediate comment on the Post story. A White House spokesman told the newspaper that Biden’s group was in the middle of its review and had not decided on its final recommendations.

The NRA has successfully lobbied federal lawmakers to stop major new gun restrictions since a 1994 assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004. The ban also prohibited ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds.

When asked if Congress will entertain new gun regulation, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that lawmakers needed to see Biden’s recommendations.

“There will be plenty of time to take a look at their recommendations once they come forward,” he said.

McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said that for the next three months Washington’s debates would center on federal spending and the rising debt.

Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, an NRA member, said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopolous” that the reported proposals were “way in extreme” and would not pass.

In a statement, New York Democratic Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand urged Biden to include in his proposals measures to prevent trafficking in illegal guns and to make it harder for felons and the mentally ill to get firearms.

Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters

Enhanced by Zemanta

3 Responses to White House looking for sharply increased gun control laws

  1. Phil

    January 6, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Both sides are overreacting to this. I think the NRA with it’s “cop in every school” approach is about nuts. We simply cannot afford that everywhere. Besides that, a wacko just knows who to shoot first then. A bunch of new restrictions probably won’t do much. We had assault rifle bans when Columbine happened. Talk of new restrictions is driving the paranoid type, and I can’t believe how many there seem to be, to try to buy up every automatic weapon around.

    Paranoia and overreaction is rampant on both sides

    Just let teachers carry guns if they want. Don’t broadcast which one’s have them. Get rid of other “no gun” zones also. These wackos pick them out for free-shooting. Anyone that can lawfully carry concealed should be able to carry anywhere except a plane. If the creeps carrying illegally don’t know where the next law abiding citizen with a gun is they will think twice about taking theirs out.

  2. Sandy Price

    January 7, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    We cannot over react when our babies are murdered in their home room desks. These laws will keep guns in our minds all thew time. I also believe that it will keep the students aware of the other kids who are doing bad drugs and may need to keep an eye on one or two of them.

    The discussion of these drugs brought back many coworkers for me to remember who seemed to be a bit off center when we put projects together as a team. I remember those projects at the close of one war and set us on the brink of another war just waiting for someone to make a bad move.

    We are no where near the end of any war or wars. and too many Americans believe they can fight these battles from their front yards. I live among very old army fighters. They are brave warriors and sadly many cannot put their damn guns away. In many cases their grandkids play with their weapons and with all the television programs raging in their minds, they will kill.

  3. woody188

    January 7, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Since most of these recent shootings were allegedly perpetrated by people already diagnosed with mental issues, how about better and more frequent/ongoing mental health checks for the people already diagnosed with these issues?

    Wouldn’t it be nice to fix the problem instead of demonizing inanimate objects for a fixed agenda?

    An enslaved population is a disarmed one.