Chicago Sun-Times
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Obama gun violence package: Assault weapon ban

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WASHINGTON--President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday morning will unveil a "package of concrete proposals" to curb gun violence, with the proposals coming in the wake of the Sandy Hook school massacre in Newtown, Mass. a month ago.

Obama and Biden, who led a task force this past month, will announce a combination of proposed changes in laws and actions Obama could take on his own through executive orders at an event set for 11:45 a.m. ET (10:45 a.m. Chicago time.

In order to head off anticipated opposition and to build public support, Obama and Biden at the morning event will be flanked "by children from around the country who wrote the President letters in the wake of that tragedy expressing their concerns about gun violence and school safety, along with their parents," White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday.

The package, described by Carney as "comprehensive," includes, he said:

*Asking Congress to reinstate an assault weapons ban.

*Asking Congress to ban high-capacity magazine clips.

*Asking Congress to close loopholes in the background check system in our country.

Carney was asked to address "some fears among gun owners that the President might unilaterally try to restrict their right to bear arms or access to weapons" and if Obama will use "his executive powers give him the authority to restrict someone's right to access certain weapons or ammunition."

Carney replied, "Well, let's be clear. The President, as he has said often and said yesterday, believes that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. He believes and knows that most all gun owners are highly responsible; they buy their guns legally and they use them safely. He also has seen and believes that most gun owners support the idea of common-sense measures to prevent people who shouldn't have guns from getting them. And that includes closing loopholes in our background check system, for example.

"But when it comes to -- the President will take a comprehensive approach. But it is a simple fact that there are limits on what can be done within existing law. And Congress has to act on the kinds of measures that we've already mentioned because the power to do that is reserved by Congress and to Congress."

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