Obama Backs Assault Weapons Ban Renewal

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WASHINGTON, (UPI) —  President Obama is “actively supportive” of a Democratic move to renew a federal ban on assault weapons during the next Congress, the White House said Tuesday.

Obama also supports legislation that would close a loophole concerning gun purchases at gun shows as well as possibly legislation on high capacity ammunition clips.

“[He] is actively supportive of, for example, Sen. [Diane] Feinstein’s stated intent to revive a piece of legislation that would reinstate the assault weapons ban,” Carney said.

The president has talked with lawmakers who have expressed interest in considering gun-related legislation in the wake of Friday’s shooting spree at Newtown, Conn., in which 27 people were killed, including 20 elementary school-age children. The shooter, Adam Lanza, killed himself.

“He is heartened … by what we have all heard from some members of Congress who have been long-time opponents of gun control measures,” Carney said.

Feinstein, D-Calif., said she will introduce legislation that would reinstate the federal ban on assault rifles when the new Congress convenes in January. The ban expired in 2004, and while there have been attempts to renew it, no bill has reached the floor for a vote.

Carney said the president would also support legislation that would close the so-called gun show loophole that doesn’t require background checks on gun purchases at gun shows and would prevent the sale of high capacity ammunition clips.

“It’s clear that as a nation we haven’t done enough to address the scourge of gun violence in this country. It’s a complex problem that requires more than one solution,” Carney said. “It calls not only for re-examining our gun laws and how well we enforce them, but also for engaging mental health professionals, law enforcement officials, educators, parents and communities to find those solutions.”

Obama also met with appropriate Cabinet members to discuss the issue.

Carney said he couldn’t offer a timetable of the president’s plans, nor what form they would take.

“He does want to move … in the coming weeks, which is a fairly short period of time,” the spokesman said, adding that Obama, besides supporting legislation, “wants to expand the conversation beyond those specific areas of legislation to look at other ways we can address this problem.”

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