Biden Sees Consensus on Gun Control Measures

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 10 2013 3:51 PM

Biden Sees Consensus on Background Checks, High-Capacity Magazines

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Vice President Joe Biden is meeting with several interest groups before issuing his reccomendations to President Obama Tuesday

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Looks like Vice President Joe Biden will be working through the weekend. “I have committed to him I will have his recommendations to him by Tuesday,” Biden said Thursday as he began a meeting with hunters and sportsmen, one of a series of gatherings as part of a task force he is leading that will come up with suggestions to decrease gun violence. Although Biden made it clear the recommendations of his task force have not been finalized, he did say there seemed to be an emerging consensus around “universal background checks” for all buyers and banning high-capacity ammunition magazines. Biden was sure to note these background checks went beyond just closing a loophole that exempts some private firearms sales, but rather would seek to strengthen controls to prevent criminals and the mentally ill from obtaining weapons. Of course, as the Washington Post notes, this consensus is among gun-control advocates and law enforcement officials. The gun lobby has long opposed these types of restrictions but the fact that the NRA agreed to sit down and talk about the issue is seen as progress.

Biden expressed particular surprise about the support around prohibiting high-capacity magazines like those used in the Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown, Conn., reports Politico. “There is nothing that has pricked the consciousness of the American people, there is nothing that has gone to the heart of the matter more than the visual image people have of little six year old kids riddled—not shot with a stray bullet—riddled, riddled with bullet holes in their classroom,” Biden said. “And the public demands we speak to it.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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