Obama wants recommendations from new gun task force next month

Sascha Burkard\Shutterstock.com

President Obama, in announcing a task force on gun control headed by Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday, urged Congress to move quickly next year on legislation to tighten restrictions in response to the horrific mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. He said he assigned Biden to lead the interagency effort “to come up with a set of concrete proposals, no later than January, which I intend to push without delay.”

“There’s no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. We're going to need to work on making access to mental health care at least as easy as access to a gun. We're going to need to look more closely at a culture that all too often glorifies guns and violence,” Obama said.

The White House has said Obama would support a renewed assault-weapons ban and closing of the loophole that allows people to purchase firearms at gun shows without a background check. While in the Senate, Biden helped craft the 1994 assault-weapons ban, which expired in 2004.

“This is not some Washington commission,” Obama said, “This is a team that has a very specific task: to pull together real reforms, right now.”

The majority of Americans support a ban on military-style assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition clips, and laws requiring background checks before all gun purchases, he added.

“I urge Congress to hold votes on these measures next year in a timely manner,” Obama said. Congress also needs to confirm a director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Exlposives, he said.

In moving so quickly after the deadly rampage by Adam Lanza, 20, last Friday, Obama is hoping to take advantage of the widespread reaction that has caused many, including some pro-gun lawmakers, to consider additional measures to prevent such shootings in the future.

“I will use all the powers of this office to help advance efforts aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. We won't prevent them all, but that can't be an excuse not to try,” Obama said.

“And I'm not going to be able to do it by myself. Ultimately, if this effort is to succeed, it's going to require the help of the American people,” he said

Obama met earlier this week with Biden, Attorney General Eric Holder, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to talk about potential policy responses. Obama has also talked with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., about tightening gun-control laws, according to the White House.

(Image via Sascha Burkard/Shutterstock.com)

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.