Obama pushes new gun laws for 2013

‘Some­thing … has to change,’ pres­i­dent says Sun­day on ‘Meet the Press.’

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By John M. Broder

He wants mea­sures passed dur­ing the first year of his sec­ond term lim­it­ing ac­cess to some high-ca­pac­ity weapons and am­mu­ni­tion.

WASHINGTON — Pres­i­dent Barack Obama said Sun­day that the day of the shoot­ing at Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School in New­town, Conn., was the worst of his pres­i­dency and that he wanted new leg­is­la­tion lim­it­ing ac­cess to some types of firearms passed within the first year of his sec­ond term.

“I think any­body who was up in New­town, who talked to the par­ents, who talked to the fam­i­lies, un­der­stands that some­thing fun­da­men­tal in Amer­ica has to change,” Obama said on NBC News pro­gram “Meet the Press.” “And all of us have to do some soul search­ing, in­clud­ing me as pres­i­dent, that we al­low a sit­u­a­tion in which 20 pre­cious small chil­dren are get­ting gunned down in a class­room.”

He said that he would wait for a report from a task force chaired by Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den be­fore propos­ing spe­cific leg­is­la­tion. But he said he had long sup­ported a ban on as­sault ri­fles and high­ca­pac­ity am­mu­ni­tion clips as well as ex­panded back­ground checks as a way to ease gun vi­o­lence in Amer­ica.

The shoot­ing in New­town, where 20 ele­men­tary school­child­ren and six adults were killed in a mat­ter of min­utes by a man with an as­sault ri­fle, has re­newed a na­tional de­bate about gun con­trol.

Obama said shortly af­ter the shoot­ing that gun con­trol would be a “cen­tral is­sue” of his sec­ond term. Though some gun-con­trol op­po­nents have said they would be open to dis­cus­sions about the is­sue, most have made clear they would op­pose any leg­is­la­tion re­strict­ing gun own­er­ship.

Lead­ers of the Na­tional Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion and gun con­trol op­po­nents in Congress have vowed to fight ef­forts to im­pose some type of ban on as­sault ri­fles and high-ca­pac­ity mag­a­zines.

Af­ter the shoot­ing, the NRA pro­posed plac­ing armed se­cu­rity guards at schools across the coun­try.

On Sun­day, Obama said he was “skep­ti­cal” that armed guards were a real­is­tic so­lu­tion.

He said no ma­jor changes in the na­tion’s gun laws were pos­si­ble with­out the strong sup­port of the Amer­i­can peo­ple, but added that he be­lieved most Amer­i­cans, in­clud­ing gun own­ers, sup­ported some type of leg­is­la­tion to re­strict ac­cess to firearms.

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