Sandy Hook shooting: Barack Obama backs assault weapons ban
President Barack Obama wants to reinstate an assault weapons ban in the wake of the mass killings in Newtown, Connecticut, his spokesman Jay Carney announced today.
Jay Carney said the president was “actively supportive” of a Democratic senator’s plan to introduce a bill on the first day of the next Congress.
Barack Obama would also consider curbs on high-capacity ammunition and loopholes, Jay Carney said.
Gunman Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults in Friday’s attack.
Barack Obama has previously stated his support for the reintroduction of an assault weapons ban, which lapsed in 2004.
But he has not backed a specific move to do so before now.
“He is actively supportive of, for example, Senator [Dianne] Feinstein’s stated intent to revive a piece of legislation that would reinstate the assault weapons ban,” Jay Carney said on Tuesday.
The White House press secretary added that Barack Obama was also supportive of other gun legislation, including on high-capacity ammunition clips and against a loophole that allows for gun purchases at gun shows.
Senator Dianne Feinstein told reporters she would introduce the legislation when the new Congress met for the first time in January.
Correspondents say that Democrats are now less reluctant to pursue gun control legislation than before.
During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama expressed support for the ban on assault weapons during one of three televised debates against Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
“I also share your belief that weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theatres don’t belong on our streets,” Barack Obama said in the second debate on October 16.
“And so what I’m trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced.”