President Obama to Outline Action Against Gun Violence Wednesday
Just a little more than a month since the Connecticut school massacre, President Barack Obama will be unveiling his proposals to fight gun violence Tuesday.
The White House says he and Vice President Joe Biden will be joined by children who wrote the president letters after the Newtown shooting. Lawmakers and advocacy groups are also expected to attend.
"Newtown, Connecticut is a wake up call to elected officials to do better for this country. And I believe there is will out there to take on comprehensive reform and I will be part of that process," says Connecticut Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D).
There's still powerful opposition in Congress to sweeping gun regulations. So, congressional officials say Obama has been weighing 19 steps he could take through executive action alone.
Those steps could include ordering stricter action against people who lie on gun sale background checks. There could also be tougher penalties against gun trafficking. And schools could be given more flexibility to use grant money to improve safety.
Despite opposition from the gun lobby, Obama is vowing not to back off his support for legislation that would require congressional backing -- including banning assault weapons, limiting the capacity of ammunition magazines and instituting universal background checks.
Obama told reporters yesterday that he doesn't know if those ideas can get through Congress -- but that his "starting point is not to worry about the politics." He says he's focusing on "what makes sense, what works."
Meanwhile, New York's governor signed into law the nation's strictest gun control law.
Both Democrats and Republicans backed the sweeping plan which includes a tighter assault weapons ban, outlawing semi-automatic pistols, and rifles with detachable magazines. It also limits the amount of ammunition that can be stored in a clip.
The National Rifle Association called the bill draconian and says the law will have no impact on public safety or crime.