White House: Still committed to assault weapons ban
January 11th, 2013
11:32 AM ET
1 year ago

White House: Still committed to assault weapons ban

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama will seek passage of an assault weapons ban as part of a larger push for new gun control laws, an administration official said Friday.

Vice President Joe Biden left out the idea of such a ban when he laid out a series of potential proposals under consideration by his gun task force Thursday. Instead, he focused on a new universal background check system for gun buyers and restrictions on high capacity magazines.

The omission fueled speculation in news reports that the White House had dropped consideration of a potential assault weapons ban.

"Those reports are false," White House spokesman Matt Lehrich said. "The President has been clear that Congress should reinstate the assault weapons ban and that avoiding this issue just because it's been politically difficult in the past is not an option."

The vice president has spent the last week meeting with what the White House calls "stakeholders" in the gun control debate. In a series of face to face discussions Thursday, Biden sat down with the National Rifle Association and other gun owners groups before conferring with representatives from the film and television industry.

Administration officials note Biden's comments on Thursday were aimed at "consensus" proposals coming out of the task force meetings. An assault weapons ban would not fit that category.

In a sign the White House is prepared to move aggressively on its proposals, Biden made his public comments just before meeting with the NRA. The gun lobby expressed disappointment in its discussion with the vice president and later released a statement that accused the administration of mounting "an agenda to attack the Second Amendment."

Organizations seeking tougher gun control laws insist an assault weapons ban is critical to addressing the nation's recent rash of mass shootings. However, such a ban could be difficult in a Congress mired in gridlock.

A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said it would be premature to comment on the vice president's remarks. The Biden task force is expected to deliver its recommendations to the president on Tuesday.

"Once the President makes some recommendations, we'll take a look at them," Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said.


Filed under: Gun rights • White House
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Paul

    I will never vote for a democrat again. Obama is as bad as they said.

    January 11, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  2. Charles

    Conservative,
    You have as many rights as you are willing to fight and die for.
    No more, no less.
    Free men do not derive their rights from any government.
    Our founding fathers realized this, and put it in writing (The Bill of Rights) to ensure that a government (like the one we have today) could never impede the rights that all free men are endowed with.

    January 11, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  3. Bob

    "There is NO SANE REASON for private citizens to be running around with military-style assault rifles and high capacity amo clips"

    Absolutely TRUE.

    January 11, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "What do Hitler, Stalin, PolPot, Chavez, Castro, Noriega and Mussolini have in common? They ALL disarmed their people and it always started with registration."

    Wrong. Historical record proves you WRONG. Hitler did NOT disarm "the people." In fact, it was the administrations prior to him that passed very restrictive gun laws and he loosened them up. What Hitler did do, was confiscate and limit gun and weapon ownership by Jews. The reality is, not only is the Hitler analogy completely and utterly offensive to anyone with even a modicum of decency, and especially offensive to most Jewish people, but it's aso totally inaccurate. Yes, we all saw Drudge and the others drag out their favorite Hitler and Stalin stock photos to rile up the yeehaw wannabe-cowboy crowd, but it's both patently absurd and wrong.

    "that the assault weapon the White House wants banned, never left the trunk of the car at Sandy Hook. It was done by pistols according to what the police found in side the school. "

    Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance has confirmed that the weapon used by Adam Lanza to shoot all those children was, indeed, the Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle. You are regurgitating intentional misinformation propaganda pushed by the gun nut lobby.

    January 11, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    Slippery slope arguments and reductio ad absurdum are for mental midgets who lack arguments that conform to the buondaries of reality. Keep it up gun nuts...the next Timmy McVeigh is just itching to make a name for himself and then those of us advocating better safety measures win.

    January 11, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. Gurgyl

    Redressal is just pass GUN-CONTROL LAWS. Period.

    January 11, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. D

    The second amendment (which all elected officials swear to protect along with the rest of the Constitution) clearly allows private citizens (i.e. the militia of the late 1700's) the right to keep and bear arms. The wording is so clear " the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." So 1) it is illegal to infringe on the rights of individuals to keep and bear arms and 2) even if it weren't illegal, it won't work – Columbine (which happened during the last ban) shows that making these guns illegal won't stop a determined criminal from committing his crime. Let's look at solutions that don't infringe on the constitution: background checks for private gun sales, perhaps requiring "assault rifles" be kept in a locked safe when not in use, etc...

    January 11, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. Paul

    Only congress has the power to make laws and tax. It's pretty simple. You would think that obama would have read the constitution before.

    January 11, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  9. Charles

    Bob,
    "There is NO SANE REASON to allow the same government that illegally gave military-style assault rifles and high capacity ammo clips to Mexican drug cartel to tell you, as an American citizen, that you can't exercise your 2A rights however the hell you want".

    Absolutely TRUE.

    January 11, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  10. Mark

    "How many times has one of the millions of assault weapons owners made themselves a threat to you, or for that matter, anyone you know?"

    Charles,
    Going by media reporting, you'd think it was a daily occurance.

    DOJ numbers state long guns are used in 3% of shooting fatalities.

    3%...let that number sink in.

    Jinx was giving specifics (10 rounds) on something he knows nothing about.
    Does he have hard statistics on every self defense shooting in the country.

    No. He doesn't.

    January 11, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  11. Mark

    "the next Timmy McVeigh is just itching to make a name for himself and then those of us advocating better safety measures win."

    Are you suggesting we ban fertilizer?

    January 11, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    ""the next Timmy McVeigh is just itching to make a name for himself and then those of us advocating better safety measures win."

    Are you suggesting we ban fertilizer?"
    ===

    Go buy yourself 3 tons of fertilizer and see how that works out for you.

    Then, go buy 10,000 rounds of .223 ammo and see if it even throws up any red flags.

    January 11, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. CanadaONE

    American police forces should REFUSE to patrol communities where assault weapons are allowed – the next thing they will to come across are rocket lanchers

    stop America! BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE

    love
    Canada

    January 11, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  14. O2B12

    jinx... the key word in your statement is "the", please watch (listen) to the 01/04/13 911 call from Walton County, she was under armed and would have been dead if there were more than one intruder or he shot back. The "tactical" rifles considered for the ban are owned by millions of Americans who enjoy using them in many different ways. They are very module (easy to customize) which makes them very popular because multiple rifles customized differently with the same general feel or one rifle can be adapted to many different shooting sports. For those who enjoy firearms and have never fired one or owned one are truly missing out. The fact is they only account for 1-2% of violent firearm incidents; therefor the ban will do absolutely nothing but anger the millions I stated above. Also keep in mind the rising gang activity in many areas of urban U.S. and their unfettered access to black market assault weapons from inside or outside the U.S. The very people trying to ban firearms from law abiding citizens (Feinstein) do nothing serious to curb this in their own state. A ban will do nothing to stop that.

    January 11, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  15. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    How did we go from muskets to assault rifles?

    January 11, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  16. imnu

    I appreciate that certain types of people need to glorify past historical events without paying any, or little, heed to the facts or context.

    The trade tariffs imposed by George III et al were indeed unfair. The founding fathers had escaped what they saw as religious persecution, in reality they were annoyed that they couldn't do what they wanted to, as and when it suited them. They headed off to the New World so that could mould a land in their image, ironically proving to be far from tolerant of other's religious beliefs.

    That was an awfully long time ago- move on...

    If you want to own a firearm so that you can shoot your neighbour for playing their musak too loudly then so be it. If you feel that you need to own an assault weapon so that you can wipe out half of your neighbourhood then I suggest that you move elsewhere..

    The Second was "cast in stone" at a time when we nasty Red Coats still had the scope to be able to return and send you to bed early for being naughty. Those days are gone. Bar China, you are the only Super Power left. Who is going to invade you? Sure there will some that argue that you need protecting from your own Government, erm... the one that you (collectively) voted for. In other words the populous voted for them, if you dont like that fact then just shrug your shoulders and accept that you are out numbered. If you don't like the idea then don't live in a democracy...

    If you find the concept of a democracy to be offensive then stop demanding that the law makers don't tinker with the Amendments.

    January 11, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Bob,
    "There is NO SANE REASON to allow the same government that illegally gave military-style assault rifles and high capacity ammo clips to Mexican drug cartel to tell you, as an American citizen, that you can't exercise your 2A rights however the hell you want".
    ------------------
    Not true. Under Arizona law you're required to sign an affadavit asserting that your gun purchases are for your own personal use. Send a mule into an AZ gun store who purchases dozens of weapons at one shot. When the mule reaches the parking lot, AZ law says that at this point he can change his mind and re-sell the weapons right there in the parking lot to any one he wants. Because all sales are legal, there is nothing that undercover agents can do about it as it all unfolds. In fact, AZ law says that they are not permitted to follow the person who re-purchases the weapons in the parking lot.

    January 11, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. Csm. HB J-dogg

    As a Pro Gun Democrat Obama know that a assault weapon ban will never pass Congress he cant executive order that #FACT but there are areas that they can agree on and Biden was simply stating what was realistic. The extreme Left was screaming about the ban so this statement was to appease them. I vote democrat I cant stand BoneHead but I agree with them on this. Democrats dont start alienating the Pro Gun Dems that are moderate do not become the republican party.

    January 11, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  19. Fair is Fair

    Jim

    When you feel like saying ;

    "eh....what the heck, let them ban this gun or that gun....

    Don't forget;

    The felling of the mightiest oak begins with one swing of an axe
    -----–
    Well put. EVERYTHING the liberals do to reach their ends, they do incrementally.

    January 11, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    "....In fact, AZ law says that they are not permitted to follow the person who re-purchases the weapons in the parking lot."

    Agents could not follow the purchasers because they lacked probable cause: evidence that a crime was committed or about to be committed!

    January 11, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  21. Ron

    I for one think we should ban guns from Liberals. They have proved time and time again, the do not have the mentality to handle any type of weapon and are usualy the ones committing crimes.

    January 11, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  22. James

    Here we go again... Please define rich... anyone who makes over 400K, Please define assault weapon... anything that ???

    January 11, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  23. James

    Furthermore... if they establish an assault weapons ban, I want a GUARANTEE that it will reduce gun related crime. I mean that's what we're trying to do here, right?

    January 11, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  24. RKM

    Sniffit

    ""the next Timmy McVeigh is just itching to make a name for himself and then those of us advocating better safety measures win."

    Are you suggesting we ban fertilizer?"
    ===

    Go buy yourself 3 tons of fertilizer and see how that works out for you.

    Then, go buy 10,000 rounds of .223 ammo and see if it even throws up any red flags.

    really, you actually believe this.

    obviously the fertilizer can be used en mase.
    Have you ever tried to carry or use 10,000 round of anything before. most shootings involve in high cap mags are useing 2-4 30 roung mags that is a max of 120 rounds.
    the problem though is that most shootings that take place don't even involve long guns they are hand guns.
    on the everage most hand guns max out at 15 rounds. Glock makes a 30 round and I am sure there are a few more.

    if you are going to fling facts around make sure you have them right.

    January 11, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  25. Mikey

    Seems pretty simple.
    (1) Reinstate the assault weapons ban and include all semi-automatics that can be easily converted into fully automatic weapons. Apply it to all guns, not just future purchases. Any automatic weapons must be permanently rendered inopperable. Allow gun clubs to own such weapons for people to shoot (must not leave premises).
    (2) Make illegal all high capacity magazines, with the same exception for gun clubs.
    (3) Eliminate the gun show loophole.
    (4) Provide for periodic rechecks to ensure gun owners are still eligible (mental/criminal).
    (5) Stiff penalties if a gun you own is used in a crime.
    (6) Create national standards for training and periodic retraining for gun owners.

    January 11, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
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