Vice President Joe Biden Will Meet With the NRA

PHOTO: Vice President Joe Biden will meet with members of the National Rifle Association on Thursday, January 10, 2013.Center for American Progress/Flickr
Vice President Joe Biden will meet with members of the National Rifle Association on Thursday, January 10, 2013.

Vice President Joe Biden is set to meet with the pro-gun rights National Rifle Association this week.

Biden, who was tasked by President Barack Obama with developing a plan to fight gun violence in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting, will also meet with members of the entertainment industry to talk about how guns are portrayed in movies and video games.

Biden will meet with victims of gun violence and gun safety organizations on Wednesday, according to the vice president's office. He will speak with the NRA and other gun ownership groups the following day.

Cabinet officials will also meet with stakeholder groups. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will meet with representatives from parent, teacher and education groups, while Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will meet with mental health and disability advocates.

The president asked Biden to assemble a task force and recommend ways to limit gun violence by the end of the month in response to a shooting rampage that took the lives of 20 Sandy Hook Elementary School children. The December 14 incident took the lives of 28 people, including the gunman and his mother.

The shooting sparked a widespread call for stricter gun laws from organizations such as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, while the NRA suggested placing armed police officers in every school in the country to deter would-be shooters.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said in late December that he would place armed volunteers at some Phoenix-area schools.

Obama has voiced support for renewing the assault weapons ban and stricter background checks, along with increased mental health care.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) has advocated reintroducing the ban, a call that other Democrats, including San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, have supported.

"There is a feeling that the Second Amendment is there in the Constitution, folks will have the right to bear arms," Castro recently told journalist and television host Charlie Rose. "At the same time, like every other freedom, there are reasonable limits, regulations to be placed on it."

But others, including Florida Senator Marco Rubio (Republican), are skeptical that a ban could prevent another mass shooting.

"I think we need to be informed and learn about this specific incident to see what policy changes could have prevented it," Rubio said, according to USA Today. "But to be quite frank I've always been skeptical of the ability of gun laws and gun laws alone to prevent violent things like this from happening."

The debate over gun laws is set to take center stage this year, and it is likely to be contentious. Obama is expected to announce a concrete package of proposals after he receives input from Biden's task force. The NRA, which has one of the most powerful lobbying arms in Washington, D.C., has said it will oppose stricter gun legislation.