An assault weapons ban could be coming back in the near future as President Obama is making the first serious push of his administration to reduce gun violence.
Obama directed cabinet members to come up with a set of proposals, one that could likely include an assault weapons ban, the Washington Post reported. Vice President Joe Biden has been picked to lead the effort, White House sources said.
The renewed attention on gun control comes in the wake of the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman attacked Sandy Hook Elementary school, killing 20 children and six adults before turning the gun on himself.
The push to enact new gun control measures marks a change among many Democrats on Capitol Hill, where there had been some hesitancy to address the issue in the past. Some moderate Democrats — including West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who has received an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association — have signaled a willingness to take a new look at gun control.
Meanwhile, the more left-leaning Senator Dianne Feinstein from California said she planned to introduce legislation reimposing the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.
Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia said he senses a different atmosphere in Washington in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting.
Senator Charles Schumer of New York also acknowledged that Friday’s shooting in Connecticut appeared to be a “tipping point” toward more strict gun control and a return of the assault weapons ban.