President Obama will announce what the White House describes as ‘concrete’ proposals to curb gun violence at an event on Wednesday where he will be surrounded by children who have written to him about gun violence.
Detailing the broad plan, which is expected to include elements that would require congressional approval and elements he can impose by executive order, could set the stage for the largest Congressional battle over gun legislation in nearly two decades.
Obama is reviewing the recommendations of Vice President Biden’s task force, which were delivered to him on Monday.
One month after the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn., Obama has already promised to push for a renewal of the 1994 ban on some types of semiautomatic assault rifles, also known as the “assault weapons ban,” legislation to expand background checks, and limits on high-capacity magazine clips.
“Will all of them get through this Congress? I don’t know. But what’s uppermost in my mind is making sure that I’m honest with the American people and with members of Congress about what I think will work, what I think is something that will make a difference,” he told reporters Monday. “If there is a step we can take that will save even one child from what happened in Newtown, we should take that step.”
The president is preparing to take action to halt gun violence with or without the help of Congress and more than a dozen executive actions are reportedly on the table.
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“I’m confident that there are some steps that we can take that don’t require legislation and that are within my authority as president. And where you get a step that has the opportunity to reduce the possibility of gun violence then I want to go ahead and take it,” Obama said.
“How we are gathering data, for example, on guns that fall into the hands of criminals, and how we track that more effectively — there may be some steps that we can take administratively as opposed through legislation,” he continued.
The most contentious items on the president’s to-do list will require Congressional approval and are expected to face fierce opposition from gun rights groups, including the National Rifle Association which has already vowed to oppose efforts to limit access to guns and ammunition.
“My starting point is not to worry about the politics,” Obama said Monday. “My starting point is to focus on what makes sense, what works; what should we be doing to make sure that our children are safe and that we’re reducing the incidents of gun violence. And I think we can do that in a sensible way that comports with the Second Amendment.”