The White House today indicated President Obama would support legislation that would reinstate the ban on certain types of semi-automatic rifles - known as "the assault weapons ban" - and may support other efforts, such as a proposal to ban high-capacity magazines, in the wake of the deadly massacre in Newtown, Conn.
"He is actively supportive of, for example, Senator Feinstein's stated intent to revive a piece of legislation that would reinstate the assault weapons ban," White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters, publicly backing for the first time legislation Feinstein plans to introduce. The White House had previously been reluctant to publicly named any specific action it might support in an effort to prevent future massacres.
"[The President] supports - and would support legislation that addresses the problem of the so-called gun show loophole, and there are other elements of gun law - gun legislation that he could support," Carney said. "People have talked about high- capacity ammunition clips, for example, and that is something, certainly, that he would be interested in looking at," he added.
The President reached out today to West Virginia Democrat, and longtime NRA member, Sen. Joe Manchin, who on Monday began publicly discussing backing tougher gun laws following the deadly shooting.
"He is heartened, I should mention, by what we have all heard from some members of Congress who have been long-time opponents of gun control measures, common-sense gun control measures like the assault weapons ban and the like," Carney said. "He, in fact, not long before I came out here, was on the phone with Senator Manchin discussing just this issue."
Though the White House has said the president views potential solutions as not solely focused on gun control - involving, for instance, mental health issues and violence in U.S. popular culture - Carney did not provide specifics when asked about those areas.
-Jake Tapper and Mary Bruce