White House gun announcement to come Wednesday
WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Barack Obama will announce “concrete” proposals to prevent gun violence at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday.
He will be joined by Vice President Joe Biden who led the administration’s efforts to determine policy steps to take. Obama said Monday he was reviewing Biden’s proposals.
“They will be joined by children from around the country who wrote the president letters in the wake of that tragedy expressing their concerns about gun violence and school safety along with their parents,” Carney said.
Carney declined to provide details about what the proposals will include but said Obama “intends to take a comprehensive approach,” including renewal of the assault weapons ban which expired after ten years in 2004, a ban of high-capacity gun magazines and closing background check loopholes.
Biden’s set of proposals includes as many as 19 executive actions that Obama could take without congressional approval, legislators briefed by Biden said Tuesday.
But Carney noted “there are limits on what can be done within existing law” and said Congress would have to act on certain proposals “because the power to do that is reserved by Congress and to Congress.”
President Barack Obama said at a news conference on Monday, “I expect to have a fuller presentation later in the week to give people some specifics about what I think we need to do.”
Rep. Elizabeth Esty, a freshman Connecticut Democrat, acknowledged the forthcoming announcement earlier Tuesday. Her district includes Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children at an elementary school were among the 27 killed December 14 by a gunman who also shot and killed himself. She is vice chairwoman of an informal gun violence group appointed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
“We are focused on a comprehensive approach that will deal with true gun safety regulations and protect the rights of responsible gun owners but also deal with mental health issues but most importantly keeping our children and our communities safe,” Esty told reporters Tuesday.
Biden held a meeting with the group appointed by Pelosi on Monday, the White House said.
Obama said at the Monday news conference that the panel “presented me now with a list of sensible, common-sense steps that can be taken to make sure that the kinds of violence we saw at Newtown doesn’t happen again.”