Biden seeks NRA inputs for US gun control reforms
Washington: The US Vice President Joe Biden has sought recommendations from pro-gun lobby groups including the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA) on gun control laws in the country for policy reforms, the White House said.
Following last month's deadly school shooting that killed as many as 20 children, the US President Barack Obama, has tasked Biden to come up with recommendations on preventing such shootouts, which have been on the increase.
"The Vice President's group has invited a number of organizations and individuals to participate in meetings. They include gun-owners and groups that represent gun- owners, groups that represent sportsmen, and sportswomen. The NRA has certainly been one of the groups -- well one of the many groups invited," the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.
"I would leave it to those groups themselves to decide whether to make any comment on their attendance at those meetings," he said.
Carney said the process established by Obama is designed to get input.
"Then the Vice President's group will assess different actions, make recommendations, and the President will decide what he would like to pursue, what he believes is the right course of action," he said.
"In addition to what he has already called on Congress to do, which is pass the assault weapons ban, pass legislation that would ban high-capacity magazines, pass a bill that would close loopholes in our background check system," he added.
As directed by Obama, Biden is expected to submit his report later this month.
"The President said that he expected and had asked the vice president to report back to him this month. I think that demonstrates the speed with which the President hopes to act," he said.
"The President has already called on Congress and will continue to call on Congress to take action on specific pieces of legislation that either already exist or could easily come together, and which some members of Congress have expressed an interest in pursuing," he said.
"So, he is mindful of the need to act. He is also mindful of the need to have a process in place, led by the Vice President, that allows for consideration of a variety of ideas because he's made the point that this is not a problem that can be solved by gun legislation alone. It is not a problem that can be solved by any specific action or single action that the government might take," he said.
"It's a problem that encompasses issues of mental health, of education, as well as access to guns and that's why he's asked the vice president to undertake the effort that he's undertaken," Carney said.