Vice President Biden, with Attorney General Eric Holder at left, speaks during a meeting with victims' groups and gun safety organizations in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington on Jan. 9.(Photo: Susan Walsh, AP)
Vice President Biden said Wednesday that President Obama is pondering the use of "executive action" to tighten gun control.
comments from Biden came as he kicked off a string of meetings with
stakeholders on the issue by sitting down with representatives of
victims' groups and gun safety organizations on Wednesday morning. On
Thursday, he will hold a similar session with hunters and gun owners
groups, including a representative from the National Rifle Association.
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president is going to act," Biden said. "There are executives orders,
there's executive action that can be taken. We haven't decided what that
is yet. But we're compiling it all with the help of the attorney
general and the rest of the cabinet members as well as legislative
action that we believe is required."
Biden suggested that, as he
develops a set of proposals for Congress, Obama could use his executive
authority now to address gun violence.
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"We're not going to get
caught up in the notion that unless we can do everything, we're going to
do nothing," Biden said. " It's critically important that we act."
added to participants: "The president and I and are determined to take
action. This is not an exercise in photo opportunities or just to getting
to ask you all what your opinions are. We are vitally interested in what
you have to say."
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Biden is due to make recommendations late this
month to President Obama, who says he will try to push a package through
Among the items being reviewed by Biden and his aides: A
renewal of the assault weapons ban, methods to improve background
checks of potential gun buyers, and proposed restrictions on the sizes
of high-capacity ammunition magazines.
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Among the groups
represented at Wednesday's meeting were the Brady Campaign to Prevent
Gun Violence, and the Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Two survivors of the
2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech as well as the step-father of one
of the victims of last year's rampage at an Aurora, Colo. movie theater