Obama's Weekly Address Focuses on the Fight to Pass Gun Control Laws

President vows to pass measures to help keep communities safe from gun violence.
4:21 | 01/19/13

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Transcript for Obama's Weekly Address Focuses on the Fight to Pass Gun Control Laws
Hi everybody. This week I announced a series of concrete steps we should take to protect our children and our communities from gun violence. These proposals grow out of meetings Vice President Biden and his task force held over the last month. -- more than 200 different groups from parents and teachers to law enforcement and sportsmen. To religious leaders and mental health professionals. And in the weeks ahead all do everything in my power to make them real. Because while we may not be able to prevent every senseless act of violence in this country. If there's even one thing that we can do to reduce. Even one life can be saved. We've got an obligation to -- My administration is taking a series of actions right away from strengthening our background check system to helping schools hire more resource officers that they want them. To directing the Centers for Disease Control to study the best ways to reduce gun violence. But the truth is making -- real and lasting difference also requires congress to act and act soon. First it's time for congress to require a universal background check for anyone trying to -- The law already requires licensed gun dealers to perform these checks but as many as 40% of all gun purchases are conducted without one. That's not safe it's not Smart and it's not fair responsible gun buyers or sellers. An overwhelming majority of Americans agree that anyone trying to buy guns should at least have to prove that they're not caliber somebody legally prohibited from owning one. That's just common sense. Second congress should restore a ban on military style assault weapons and a ten -- limit for magazines. Many assault rifles when combined with high capacity magazines have one purpose and one purpose only to fire as many bullets as possible as quickly as possible. These weapons have no place in our communities. And a majority of the American people agree with me. Finally congress needs to make it easier rather than harder for law enforcement to do its job. We should get tougher on people who buy guns only to turn around and sell them to criminals. And at a time when many communities have been forced to make cuts to the police force we should put more cops back on the job and back on the street. Like most Americans I believe the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. We have a strong tradition of gun ownership in this country and vast majority of gun owners act responsibly. I also believe most gun owners agree that we can respect the Second Amendment while keeping an irresponsible law breaking few from causing harm -- a massive scale. That's what these reforms are designed to do. None of this will be easy. Already we're -- pundits and politicians and special interest lobbyists calling any attempt to common sense reform an all out assault on liberty. Now because that's true but because that's how they get higher ratings or make more money. And behind the scenes they're doing everything they can to protect the status quo. But this time it can't be up to them. It's gotta be up to you. If like me you want this time to be different. Then I need your help to make it. Ask your member of congress if they support universal background checks and renewing a ban on military style assault weapons and -- capacity magazines. If the answer is no ask them why not. Ask them -- and a great from the gun lobby is more important in keeping kids safe in first grade classroom. Since the tragedy in new town I've got letters from all over the country including many from our young people. One of them was from eight year old Rachel who lives in Brooklyn New York. She wrote please do something so the bad people cannot get guns to kill their people. Children should be safe. Especially in school. Rituals counting on us. Let's get this done for her. And all the other children in this country and let's make sure this country is a safer place for all children to learn and to grow. Thanks and have a great weekend.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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