White House: Still committed to assault weapons ban
January 11th, 2013
11:32 AM ET
10 years 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. Moose

    The idiot who shot up the school USED PISTOLS, not an assault rifle. That is a FACT. As far as Assault rifles it is just the start of the goverment taking over our rights. look at what a disaster Obammy care already is. If assault rifles are banned whats next?? revolvers that hold 6 rounds ?? Where do you you think our limpless leader would stop???
    So many of you are missing the point, any trained shooter seldom needs more than 1 round to accomplish his/hers goal. This is nothing but politics to get everyone looking the other way while Mr i dont know how lets our economy continue to sink into the abyss.

    January 11, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  2. Patrick

    Obama and his administration want to install an assault weapons ban when there is no way for citizens to buy assault weapons. All the weapons the people can buy are one shot per trigger pull weapons. There already is an assault weapons ban. Has been for decades. He really wants a scary looking gun ban. It is possible take a .22 rifle and modify it to look scary.

    You want to do background checks prior to gun purchases, fine. While you law makers are at it, will you remove the laws that allowed mental ill people out into the general public. One of the reasons why we did not have many of thee types if incidents in the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s is that people could be sent away. allow that to happen again.

    January 11, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  3. America is Banker Conqured

    Chem trails, fluoride in our water, cancer causing vaccines, banning our guns, mind control, financial enslavement, give up your guns, Bush and Obama are puppets and if you are defenseless you will be conquered by the government that has been taken over by banks, corporations, and evil communist thinkers.

    January 11, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
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