Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that the White House has determined President Barack Obama can take executive action in a push to curb gun violence.”We’re here today to deal with a problem that requires immediate action, urgent action,” Biden said at a meeting with gun safety advocacy groups and victims of gun violence, according to a pool report released from the meeting.
“The President is going to act,” Biden said. He added that the White House has determined “executive action can be taken,” but he did not specify what action that could be.
It was the first suggestion from the White House that it could bypass Congress in instituting measures to combat gun violence in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The White House has already called on Congress to reinstate a ban on assault weapons that expired in 2004, close loopholes that allow gun buyers to bypass background checks and ban some high-capacity magazines.
“I want to make clear that we’re not going to get caught up in the notion that, unless we can do everything, were going to do nothing,” Biden said Wednesday.
White House press secretary Jay Carney also wouldn’t specify today what executive action could be taken, sidestepping questions on the issue.
“Those decisions have not been made,” Carney said, emphasising that he did not want to “get ahead of the President or Vice President.”
Biden’s meeting — which Attorney General Eric Holder also attended — was the first in a series this week for the White House’s gun violence task force led by the Vice President. On Thursday, Biden will meet with gun-owner groups like the National Rifle Association and gun-selling retailers like Wal-Mart.
This post has been updated.
* Here’s a full list of the meeting’s participants today:
Vice President Joe Biden
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
Gun Safety Advocate Groups:
Arizona for Gun Safety
Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence
Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus & States United to Prevent Gun Violence
Cease Fire Pennsylvania
CT Against Gun Violence
Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence
Mayors Against Illegal Guns
Violence Policy centre
Wisconsin Anti Violence Effort
Victims & Survivors:
Colin Goddard, Survivor of Virginia Tech Shooting
Elilta Habtu, Survivor of Virginia Tech shooting
William Kellibrew, Witness to Violence & Founder, William Kellibrew Foundation
Annette Nance-Holt, Mother of Victim to Gang Violence
Lonnie Phillips, Stepfather of Aurora Shooting Victim
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