Sources close to the Obama Administration say the White House is leaning towards pushing for more broad based and comprehensive gun control legislation than simply reinstating the assault weapons ban. After the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting President Obama tasked Vice-President Biden with putting together a working group to discuss the Administrations response.
Sources close to the working group say that they are preparing to release their recommendations which includes the input from several key law enforcement groups and involves requiring universal background checks for firearm buyers, tracking the movement and sale of weapons through a national database, strengthening mental health checks, and stiffening penalties for carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors.
If the Obama Administration decides to go that route they will face formidable opposition from Congressional Republicans and their allies in the gun lobby. The Administration is supposedly weighing a strategy to go around the gun lobby by enlisting the help of Walmart and other major retailers by offering the legislation in a way where it benefits their businesses. Obama also plans on working closely with outspoken anti-gun mayor, Michael Bloomberg.
In addition to pushing a comprehensive reform approach the Biden work group is also weighing suggestions that President Obama can implement through executive orders such as strengthening background checks and improving mental health screenings.
Pro gun rights organizations are already responding to the proposals as an assault on the Second Amendment. In addition to fighting the administration in Congress they will most likely turn to the court system which has been moving more towards the right on gun issues in the first place.
What is still a question mark is how much political capital President Obama wants to use on this issue. He has already made it clear he plans on pushing a more union friendly agenda, pushing climate control legislation and has a fight about the debt ceiling approaching, in addition to an economy that has not rebounded the way he has hoped.
Do you think the President should be pushing more comprehensive gun control measures at this point in his career?