President Obama is getting specific on gun control.
The commander-in-chief will “actively” back Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s effort to reinstate the assault weapons ban during his second term, the White House said Tuesday.
“It’s clear that as a nation we haven’t done enough to address the scourge of gun violence,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. He said Obama “wants to move in the coming weeks.”
Carney’s remarks come following the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Conn., which killed 26 people, including 20 children. Obama has pledged to take “meaningful action” to prevent such tragedies, but has offered little in the way of specifics until now.
Carney said Obama would also support legislation to close gun show loopholes, which allow people to purchase guns from private dealers without having to go through background checks.
The last federal assault weapons ban was enacted from 1994 to 2004. It outlawed manufacturing, transferring and possessing semi-automatic assault rifles, listing several guns by name including AK-47s, Uzis, and Colt AR-15s. The ban had a provision that allowed it to expire eight years ago.
On Tuesday, Obama talked to West Virginia Sen. Joe Machin, a pro-gun Democrat who said it’s time to have a real debate about gun control in light of Friday’s shooting.
Manchin released a statement after the president called him, saying “We agree that as Americans and parents, all of our children belong to all of us - and we must work together to keep our precious children safe.”
He added, “I believe that we must have a dialogue and bring parties from all sides to the table. I know my friends at the NRA and those who support our Second Amendment rights will participate because I know that their hearts are aching for the families in Newtown, just like all Americans.”