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Obama supports plans to reintroduce assault-weapons ban

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Obama supports plans to reintroduce assault-weapons ban


US President Barack Obama has given his backing to efforts to reinstate an assault weapons ban.

Restrictions on ownership of such guns expired in 2004, but following the Connecticut school massacre, there are calls for it to be renewed.

White House aides said Obama will announce on Wednesday that Vice President Joe Biden will lead an effort to come up with policies to address gun violence.

The president is not expected to announce policy decisions but rather lay out the process by which his administration will move forward.

Asked about the possibility of an assault weapons ban White House spokesman Jay Carner said: “The president is actively supportive of, for example, Senator (Dianne) Feinstein’s stated intent to revive a piece of legislation that would reinstate the assault weapons ban.”

“And there are other elements of gun law legislation — gun legislation that — that he could support. People have talked about high capacity gun ammunition clips, for example, and that is something certainly that he would be interested in looking at,” Carner added.

Dozens of gun control activists marched on the Washington headquarters of the National Rifle Association on Monday evening.

One of the most powerful lobbies in the capital, the NRA campaigns to uphold the second amendment of the US constitution – the right to bear arms.

The mass killing of 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook elementary school last Friday has also led a number of pro-gun rights politicians to openly support calls for tougher laws.

Biden’s mission

Obama has turned to Vice President Joe Biden in the past to take a role in high-profile policy initiatives, such as efforts to seek a deficit-reduction compromise with congressional Republicans in 2011.

Biden’s mission – to coordinate a process among government agencies to formulate policies in the wake of the Newtown shootings – comes just days after the Connecticut massacre appears to have generated a national outcry for greater efforts to stem gun violence.

It was the fourth shooting rampage to claim multiple lives in the United States this year.

The president issued a call to action at a memorial service in Newtown on Sunday, demanding changes to the way the United States deals with gun violence. Obama said that in coming weeks he would “use whatever power this office” holds to start efforts to preventing further such tragedies.

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