Despite fresh opposition from the National Rifle Association, the Obama administration is assembling proposals to curb gun violence that would include a ban on sales of assault weapons, limits on high-capacity ammunition magazines and universal background checks for gun buyers.
Sketching out details of the plan Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden said he would give President Barack Obama a set of recommendations by Tuesday. The NRA, one of the pro-gun groups that met with Biden during the day, rejected the effort to limit ammunition and dug in on its opposition to an assault-weapons ban, which Obama previously has said he will propose to Congress.
“The vice president made it clear, made it explicitly clear, that the president had already made up his mind on those issues,” NRA president David Keene said after the meeting. “We made it clear that we disagree with them.”
Opposition from the well-funded and politically powerful NRA underscores the challenges that await the White House if it seeks congressional approval for limiting guns and ammunition. Obama can use his executive powers to act alone on some gun measures, but his options on the proposals opposed by the NRA are limited without Congress’ cooperation.
Obama has pushed reducing gun violence to the top of his domestic agenda after last month’s massacre of 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school. The president put Biden in charge of an administrationwide task force and set a late January deadline for proposals.
The vice president huddled privately with the NRA and other gun-owner groups for more than 90 minutes. Participants in the meeting described it as an open and frank discussion but one that yielded little movement from either side on long-held positions.