Obama Set to Announce Plans to Address Gun Violence

Washington, January 16, 2013 – President Barack Obama will formally unveil his plans for reducing gun violence at a White House event Wednesday just before noon, standing side by side with gun control advocates, White House officials said on Tuesday.

The president is expected to announce a push for new laws to restrict the availability of guns and to embrace a series of executive actions that he can take without seeking congressional approval.

The White House press secretary, Jay Carney, said Mr. Obama will be flanked by children from around the country who had written to Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in the wake of the massacre of school children in Newtown, Conn. in December.

“He intends to take a comprehensive approach,” to reducing gun violence in the country, Mr. Carney said in a briefing with reporters.

Gun control was not on the president’s agenda for his second term, but became a top priority in the hours after the Newtown shooting.

With the event at the White House, Mr. Obama will kick off what lawmakers predict could be a bitter and drawn-out fight over a new assault weapons ban, limits on the high-capacity magazines that are used by those weapons, and a dramatic expansion of the background check system for gun purchases.

Mr. Carney said that the president will call upon Congress to pass that legislation, including a push to “close the very big loopholes” in the background check system for gun purchases.

That legislative fight may initially take a back seat to the standoff over debt and spending, which will flare up again as soon as the president is inaugurated.

And the push for new gun laws will also come at the same time the administration and Democrats on Capitol Hill are eager to pass a comprehensive immigration bill early in the president’s second term. New York Times