Sandy Hook

Obama makes gun-limit law 2nd term priority

by Michael Schwirtz and John M. Broder, The Boston Globe  |  published on January 1, 2013

President Obama said Sunday that the day of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., was the worst of his presidency and that he wanted new legislation limiting access to some types of firearms passed within the first year of his second term.

‘‘I think anybody who was up in Newtown, who talked to the parents, who talked to the families, understands that something fundamental in America has to change,’’ Obama said on NBC’s Meet the Press.’’ “And all of us have to do some soul searching, including me as president, that we allow a situation in which 20 precious small children are getting gunned down in a classroom.’’

He said that he would wait for a report from a task force chaired by Vice President Joe Biden before proposing specific legislation. But he said he had long supported a ban on assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition clips as well as expanded background checks as a way to ease gun violence in America.

The shooting in Newtown, where 20 elementary schoolchildren and six adults were killed in a matter of minutes by a man with a semiautomatic rifle, has renewed a national debate about gun control.

Obama said shortly after the shooting that gun control would be a ‘‘central issue’’ of his second term. Though some gun-control opponents have said they would be open to discussions about the issue, most have made clear they would oppose any legislation restricting gun ownership.

Leaders of the National Rifle Association and gun-control opponents in Congress have said they are not interested in cooperating with Biden’s task force and have vowed to fight efforts to impose some type of ban on assault rifles and high-capacity magazines like that used in the Newtown shooting.

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