Obama supports assault rifle ban re-enactment, spokesman says

“Democratic lawmakers pressed for restoring a ban on assault weapons, enacted in 1994 and allowed to expire in 2004, as the White House reiterated President Barack Obama’s support for such a prohibition. ‘There is only one use for high-capacity magazines and that is to kill a lot of people quickly,’ House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland told reporters today as lawmakers grappled with last week’s massacre of 20 children and 6 adults at a Connecticut elementary school,” Phil Mattingly and Jonathan D. Salant wrote today in a Bloomberg online article. Mattingly and Salant continued, “Congressional proposals for tightening access to firearms may be bolstered by policy options from the Justice Department. Obama has vowed to ‘use whatever power this office holds’ to prevent another mass shooting. Senior Justice Department officials spent much of 2011 drafting recommendations to reduce gun violence. Those options, which have been presented to the agency’s leadership though not the White House, included enhancements to the national background-check database, harsher sentences for people who serve as ‘straw’ buyers of weapons, and increased funding for states that improve their background check submissions, according to two people briefed on the activities. Obama met yesterday with Vice President Joe Biden, senior aides and Cabinet members including Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss ways to respond to the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, according to a White House official with knowledge of the session. ‘The president’s position on the assault weapons ban has not changed,’ Obama spokesman Jay Carney told reporters yesterday. ‘He still supports its re-enactment.’ The latest attack has the potential to shift the national debate in favor of gun control, said Richard Primus, a law professor at the University of Michigan. Read the full article here. | Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS

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