WASHINGTON (USA TODAY) - President Obama will unveil a comprehensive gun-safety
plan on Wednesday, a follow-up to his promise to come up with a proposal
to bolster gun control in the aftermath of last month's mass shooting
at an elementary school in Connecticut.
The White House did not
detail the proposal Obama will outline on Wednesday, but White House
press secretary Jay Carney underscored that Obama has already endorsed
the reinstatement of an assault weapons ban and restrictions on
high-capacity magazines--measures that would require action by Congress
"The president and vice president will hold an
event here at the White House tomorrow to unveil a package of concrete
proposals to reduce gun violence and prevent tragedies like the one in
Newtown, Conn.," Carney said.
Carney said Obama and Vice President
Biden will be joined at the announcement by children from around the
country who wrote to the president about the scourge of gun violence
after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School last month that left
26 children and educators dead.
Biden has told House Democrats
that his task force on gun violence has identified 19 areas where
President Obama could bolster gun control through executive action.
yesterday's meeting between the Vice President and the Gun Violence
Prevention Task Force which the congresswoman attended, Vice President
Biden explained that he and his staff have researched various plans of
action to reduce and prevent gun violence," said Jenny Werwa, a
spokeswoman for Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif, who attended a meeting
with Biden on Monday. "They have identified 19 different options the
president could choose to implement with executive action."
Werwa added that Biden did not indicate how many of those options the president will take up.
Biden last week made clear that the use of presidential "executive order" is very much on the table.
president is going to act," Biden said at the start of a task force
meeting with representatives of gun safety and victims' groups. "There
are executive orders; there's executive action that can be taken. We
haven't decided what that is yet. But we're compiling it all with the
help of the attorney general and the rest of the Cabinet members, as
well as legislative action that we believe is required."
suggested Monday that he will push for broad gun legislation that will
need congressional backing on some fronts - including banning assault
weapons, limiting the capacity of ammunition magazines and instituting
universal gun-buyer background checks.
"Will all of them get through this Congress? I don't know," Obama said."My starting point is not to worry about the politics."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told the television program Nevada Week in Review that he doubted an assault weapons ban could pass the Republican-controlled House. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., did not echo Reid's view.
don't have an assessment right now," said Hoyer, "I'm hopeful that past
history will not be prologue to what we're able to do after seeing some
of these great tragedies that we've witnessed far too often."
coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, led by New York Mayor Michael
Bloomberg, has called for Obama to consider several measures that they
said could be implemented without congressional approval:
up prosecution by the Justice Department of felons and others
prohibited from buying weapons when they attempt to buy them. In 2009,
the FBI referred 71,000 cases to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives (ATF), but U.S. attorneys prosecuted only 77.
This is a move that would likely be supported by gun rights proponents.
federal agencies to report records to the National Instant Criminal
Background Check Systems. Federal agencies are supposed to submit mental
health, substance abuse and other records that prohibit a person from
owning a gun, but few do, according to FBI data reviewed by the mayors
- Appoint a permanent ATF director. The federal agency
charged with enforcing gun laws has gone without a confirmed director
for six years.