Washington (CNN) – Vice President Joe Biden reassured leading gun control groups Thursday that the administration remains committed to pushing an expansion of background checks for gun purchases through Congress, according to one of the event's attendees.
Biden, who has led the administration's efforts on gun control in the wake of the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, told the meeting of about 15 participants that despite last week's defeat of a bi-partisan measure in the Senate to expand checks at gun shows and online sales, that this was just the beginning.
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"He was delivering a charge to us" to stay engaged Pia Carusone, executive director of the group formed by former congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly, told CNN summarizing the vice president's message. "He was determined."
The meeting included that group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, as well as Mayors Against Illegal Guns (formed by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg), the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Center for American Progress, Moms Demand Action and representatives of law enforcement.
The administration has said it is committed to continue to push Congress on the issue. Biden's office confirmed the meeting but would not provide further detail of his remarks.
"We all are in a period of discussion and figuring out what the best strategy is," Carusone said. "It is just clear there is a strong determination on the part of the administration and all of these various groups that this issue not go away."
In the wake of their loss, groups involved in the fight are trying to figure out ways to harness public support and build pressure on lawmakers citing polls showing about 90% of Americans supported the background checks expansion.
The Giffords/Kelly group went up with radio ads this week criticizing Ayotte and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell over their votes opposing the background checks measure and one praising Sen. John McCain for his vote supporting it. Giffords also sent out an email to supporters asking them to pledge "to become a gun violence voter in 2014." She said: "If you're still angry about last week's vote, you are not alone. But it's up to us to do something about it, because if we don't act, no one will."
The advocacy organization formed by some of President Obama's former campaign aides, Organizing for Action, bought new online ads to run on news sites and key newspapers in the home states of 10 senators, nine Republican and one Democrat who voted against the background checks issue last week. The ads are tailored to each state, such as one for New Hampshire saying "Remind Senator (Kelly) Ayotte: you work for New Hampshire, not the gun lobby." Among the other senators the group is aiming its ads at are: Republicans Saxby Chambliss, Dan Coats, Ted Cruz, Jeff Flake and Rob Portman and Democrat Heidi Heitkamp.
Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association will be trying to marshal its members to keep up the pressure against some of the proposals at its annual convention next week in Houston. The group said it is expecting 70,000 attendees, which would be one of its largest conventions in its history. Among those speaking will be Republican Governors Rick Perry (Texas) and Bobby Jindal (Louisiana) as well as former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum and Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
For Sale: America. Slaves, included.
Want my car? Give me a ride. Want my lunch money? Give me a sandwich. Want my guns? Fine, get ride of all violent crime!
Don't ask me to give up my freedom to protect my family without first stepping up to the plate and doing your part.
Quit trying to mess with our gun rights.
Freedom, with risks, is better than the safety offered by slavery.
The Government promises to build us castles of safety with thick stone walls and iron bars, and there are many committed linnets singing about that being a hermitage. I, however, know a prison when I see one.
.Funny how they "site polls of 90 percent" but read the feedback here. I think biden and friends are in a pipe dream. You wanted a vote. You got a vote. You lost. Suck it up. Put on your big girl panties and leave our rights alone!
I don't be leave that anyone has the right to tell me that I must let the government know what I'm doing as long as I'm not hurting someone else, it's none of there business what I own or what I want to own, I come from a long line of true AMERICANS and we all keep to our selves till someone starts telling us what to do then it's on. I never look for trouble but when it comes to my rights you better listen to the people not to idiots in Washington.
Go for it, gungrabbers.
You've woken up the sleeping giant–rural America.
The issue is simple, regardless of the inane, illogical and misguided tangents hurled at us by the Obama administration and their mainstream media counterparts...
The lines have been drawn. It's D.C. elites and their metropolitan fellow travelers in urban America, where legal gun ownership is low and gun crime is high vs. Rural America, where legal gun ownership is high and gun crime is low.
Any further overtures towards gun control will serve only to garner support for supporters of the second amendment.
I hear that the NRA is well on its way to doubling its membership this year.
Sleeping giant? Please. Typical rightie, fighting battles and using language years out of date. The cause and effect argument of high legal gun ownership= low crime is a crock. I grew up in rural upstate NY, surrounded by farmers, hunters, and plenty of drug trafficking. Crack, meth, all cooked up in rural areas where guns are plentiful and legally purchased. My hometown experienced exactly 1 murder in the firs 25 years I lived there: in the years since, 10 murders, plenty of drivebys from home-grown drug dealers, a police cruiser shot up by a man with an AK-47 when he was served with papers on his back child support. Yep, rural America is a sleeping giant alright: its a source of drugs and crime, and people are armed with their own weapons when they commit the crimes. They break into homes to steal weapons, because no one thought break-ins would occur in their sleepy town. What a crock.
Did they ever explain how UBGCs would have prevented Newtown.
I have serious doubts about this 90% support background checks figure. Was the actual question "Do you support background checks"? or "Do you support expanded background checks"? or was it something else? I live in a very, very liberal area. Many people around here think Obama is far right. I have yet to find someone who wants this expanded background check on guns. In this state there already are background checks. There is no gun show loophole. There are gun shows. you cannot go to a gun show and walk out with a gun. They check you first.
Most people want more mental health checks done. Maybe that was the question asked? Do you support more mental health tests as part of a background check? I could see that getting he 90% support figure.
And on a side note, CNN is going full bore on supporting this gun ban agenda with a never ending series of anti-gun articles and opinion pieces. What used to be a trusted news source has become a billboard for gun grabbing progressive liberals. Disgusted.
There's also plenty of determination on the GUN RIGHTS side. Just because a small few want to take away the majority's rights doesn't make your cause noble. Give it a rest Biden. Every time you open your mouth you make me think Dan Quayle and Dick Cheney are geniuses.
Jason...the majority's rights are being taken away. Unless the majority can't pass a background check.