GunsBiden hints at executive action on gun violence

Published 10 January 2013

Vice President Biden on Wednesday said the White House could use executive orders to advance gun control measures. Biden held a series of meetings Wednesday in the White Housed on the topic of gun violence and the ways to reduce it; in a meeting with gun-safety and victims groups, Biden said: “There are executive orders, executive action that can be taken,” adding: “we haven’t decided what that is yet”

Vice President Biden on Wednesday said the White House could use executive orders to advance gun control measures. Biden held a series of meetings Wednesday in the White Housed on the topic of gun violence and the ways to reduce it.

The Wednesday session saw Biden tell gun-safety and victims groups that he was “determined” to take “urgent action” to address gun violence.

This is not an exercise in photo opportunities or just getting to ask you all what your opinions are. We are vitally interested in what you have to say,” Biden said.

Fox News reports that it appears that despite efforts by the administration not to reveal the tenor of Biden’s recommendation, which he will submit to the president in three weeks, the vice president made it clear that that executive action  would be part of the administration’s approach to curbing gun violence.

There are executive orders, executive action that can be taken,” Biden said, adding “we haven’t decided what that is yet.”

He also said separate legislative action would be “required.”

Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, told Fox News after the meeting that administration officials “talked about … their willingness to use executive action where that’s appropriate.”

Among the gun control advocacy groups in the meeting were Arizona for Gun Safety, the Brady Campaign, the Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus, and Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Today, Biden will host a meeting with gun rights advocates. The National Rifle Association confirmed to Fox News that the group accepted an invitation to meet with the task force.

The Biden task force is also planning to meet with repre3sentatives of the entertainment and video gaming industries.

The Washington Post earlier this week reported that the White House is leaning toward adopting measures long advocated by the law enforcement community, among them universal background checks for gun buyers, a national gun database, strengthening mental-health checks, and tougher penalties for people carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors. These measures will be in addition to banning assault weapons and large magazines.

White House spokesman Jay Carney appeared to lend support to the view that the administration will propose measures beyond prohibition of certain types of weapons when he said on Monday that Obama wants to “close the many loopholes in our background check system” and “supports congressional actions right away.”

The White House indicated that it will push for measures to reduce gun violence even though Congress will be preoccupied with intense negotiations over sequestration and the debt ceiling.

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,” Carney said Monday.

Others in the administration are also involved in the effort. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will meet with parent and teacher groups, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will meet with mental health and disability advocates.

The Biden task force has meetings scheduled with community organizations, business owners, and religious leaders.

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