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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Obama Unveils New Gun Laws

Amanda Martinez |
January 16, 2013 | 10:00 a.m. PST

Executive Producer


The gun policy proposals were introduced after a month-long review of gun safety measures. (Mike Saechang/Creative Commons)
The gun policy proposals were introduced after a month-long review of gun safety measures. (Mike Saechang/Creative Commons)
President Obama unveiled new gun laws Wednesday to limit gun violence and impose stricter restrictions on gun ownership.

Around noon, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, who spearheaded a task-force on gun safety, proposed legislation including universal background checks for gun sales, prohibiting high-capacity ammunition magazines, new trafficking laws to crack down on the spread of weapons across the country and a ban on assault weapons.

"If there is even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there's even one life that can be saved, we've got an obligation to try," said Obama.

Obama will take executive action on 23 measures, including the enforcement of stricter prosecution of potential gun buyers who fail background checks and improving federal research of firearm crimes.

The White House's focus on gun violence comes in the wake of the Newtown elementary school shooting that killed 20 students and six adults.

In the days following the shooting, children nationwide wrote to the president asking for him to stop gun violence. Many of the children who added to the debate on gun control joined Obama and Biden at Wednesday's press conference.

Obama read excerpts from many of the letters written by some of the children present, before saying society's first task is "keeping our children safe" and using "whatever weight this office holds" to make the proposed legislation a reality.

The proposals have already garnered criticism, both from the public and gun-ownership groups.

A Pew Research Center poll showed 55 percent of Americans supported a ban on assault-style weapons. Only four in 10 Republicans supported the restriction, opposed to overwhelming Democratic support. Yet, despite support of the Democrats in Congress, NBC News reported many in the party are wary of whether the proposals will have the necessary votes to become law.

The National Rifle Association said they will adamantly oppose many of the gun law changes and predicted Congress will not pass legislation banning high-capacity ammunition magazines and assault weapons.

In response to the White House's month-long review of gun control, the NRA launched TV and Internet campaigns accusing the president of being "just another elitist hypocrite" for using Secret Service detail for his two daughters but rejecting the NRA proposal to place armed guards in schools.

Obama briefly addressed the root of gun violence at Wednesday's event, asking for $10 million to study the causes of gun violence and any link between video games and media images.

For more of Neon Tommy's coverage on gun control click here.

Reach Executive Producer Amanda Martinez here.






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