Obama promises gun control action next year
Updated: 2012-12-20 15:30
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama vowed to press for tighter gun laws early next year, as he sought to turn national outrage over the Connecticut school massacre into action to ban assault weapons and ensure better background checks on gun buyers.
Sophie Bell, 9, holds a sign during an interfaith candlelight prayer vigil to end gun violence in front of Los Angeles City Hall in Los Angeles, California, December 19, 2012. A gunman killed 20 children and six adults in a shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14. [Photo/Agencies]
Obama held a White House news conference on Wednesday to announce that Vice-President Joe Biden will lead an interagency effort to craft new gun policies. The group is expected to offer its proposals in January.
"We know this is a complex issue that stirs deeply held passions and political divides," Obama said. "But the fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing."
Biden and other cabinet members planned to meet with law enforcement leaders from across the country to discuss policy ideas on Thursday, a White House official said.
Obama said he believed most Americans support the reinstatement of a ban on the sale of military-style assault weapons, barring the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips and a law requiring background checks on buyers before all gun purchases, to stop sales at gun shows without such checks.