In Minneapolis, Obama Presses Case for Tougher Gun Laws
Mr. Obama renewed his call for Congress to pass a series of measures, including a ban on the manufacture and sale of new assault weapons, limits on high-capacity magazines and an expansion of the criminal background check system that currently covers only about 60 percent of gun sales.
But he openly demonstrated different expectations for the measures as Washington wages a bitterly divisive debate over the role of guns in society.
The president declared “universal background checks” to be supported by a “vast majority of Americans” and called for their quick passage in Congress. “There’s no reason why we can’t get that done,” he told the gathering of law enforcement officials.
But of the potential for a new assault weapons ban, the president said only that it “deserves a vote in Congress because weapons of war have no place on our streets.”
On Monday, White House aides again said the president was still pushing for the three measures, along with changes to the nation’s mental health system. But the president, top lawmakers in Congress and gun-control advocacy organizations appear nervous about the political chances of the assault weapons ban and eager to push for a better background check system.