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Vice President Joe Biden: President Barack Obama may take 'executive action' on gun control

2:38 PM, Jan 9, 2013   |    comments
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)
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Vice President Biden said Wednesday that President Obama is pondering the use of "executive action" to tighten gun control.

The 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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"The 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."

He 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 Congress.

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 also attended.

USA Today

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