Biden and NRA to Meet Face-to-Face as White House Pushes for New Gun Control Laws
(TheBlaze/AP) — Vice President Joe Biden will meet face-to-face with a representative with the National Rifle Association on Thursday as the Obama administration continues to push for new gun control measures.
The NRA has accepted an invitation to meet with the gun violence task force, led by Biden, the group confirmed to Fox News. President Barack Obama created the task force following the horrific Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Conn. in December. The task force has until the end of the month to provide the president with a list of proposals.
“The White House and the NRA have found little common ground as the two groups craft separate responses to the tragedy. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reiterated Tuesday that President Obama is ‘skeptical that putting more guns in schools would solve this problem,’” Fox News reports.
Biden will also meet Wednesday with gun violence victims’ groups and gun safety organizations, a White House official said. On Thursday, he will hold talks with gun ownership groups, as well as advocates for sportsmen. The vice president also plans to meet this week with representatives from the entertainment and video-game industries. The official was not authorized to discuss the meetings before they were publicly announced and thus spoke on condition of anonymity.
Obama has called the Dec. 14 shooting in Newtown the worst moment of his presidency. It catapulted gun control to the top of his priority list for the first time in his presidency and also led some pro-gun lawmakers on Capitol Hill to express a willingness to consider new measures.
Obama aides say the president still plans to act quickly on Biden’s proposals. They worry that as the shock of the Newtown shooting fades, so, too, will the prospects that pro-gun lawmakers will work with the White House to tighten restrictions.
“I believe most Americans would disagree with the idea that in the wake of what happened in Newtown, Conn., that we should put off any action on the issue of gun violence,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday in response to McConnell’s comments. “It’s certainly not a sentiment the president supports.”
Biden’s recommendations are likely to include proposals for legislation, as well as executive action Obama can sign into law without lawmakers’ approval.
The president already has called on Congress to reinstate a ban on military-style assault weapons, close loopholes that allow gun buyers to skirt background checks and restrict high-capacity magazines. While the president may consider additional gun control measures, he also has ordered his administration to examine ways to improve mental health coverage and consider cultural issues like violence in video games and movies.
In addition to Biden’s meetings this week, Education Secretary Arne Duncan will meet this week with parent and teacher groups, while Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will meet with mental health and disability advocates.
The White House said other meetings are also scheduled with community organizations, business owners and religious leaders.
Featured image via AP
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