Vice President Joe Biden is “absolutely committed” to fighting gun violence, he said Thursday as he hosted his first meeting responding to the Newtown shooting.
“We have to have a comprehensive way in which to respond to the mass murder of our children that we saw in Connecticut,” Biden told law enforcement officials and members of the Cabinet at the start of the meeting. He and President Obama agree that “even if we can only save one life, we have to take action.”
There’s “no reason” why Congress shouldn’t be able to pass a ban on assault weapons, he said. Referring to the bill he authored in 1994, he added: “Quite frankly, you guys helped me write it,” referring to the leaders of major law enforcement groups at the meeting — including Jon Adler of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, Jim Pasco of the Fraternal Order of Police and Walt McNeil of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Obama launched Biden’s group on Wednesday, instructing the vice president and members of the Cabinet to generate “concrete proposals” by January to respond to Friday’s school shooting. Obama said the panel will consult with outside “stakeholders,” but has not specified whether that will include pro-gun groups like the National Rifle Association.
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.
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