The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Politics

April 4, 2013

Obama Cites State Gun Curbs in Pressing Federal Firearms Effort

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

That's a scaled-back version of the Obama's original proposals, which included a renewal of the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada converted those items to an amendment that stands no chance of survival.

The White House is pursuing a duel-track approach to advance new gun controls. Vice President Joe Biden, who spent 36 years in the Senate representing Delaware, has taken the lead in meeting lawmakers and advocates on both sides of the issue. He's also been working at the state level, calling legislators in Colorado and making appearances in New York and Connecticut.

"The vice president knows these senators so he can speak the language of folks who need persuading on these issues," said Mark Glaze, executive director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a pro-gun-control group led by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "The president has a different role."

Bloomberg is the owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News.

Even as they push on the national and state level, Obama's aides are pre-emptively blaming Republicans, who have a majority in the House and enough votes in the Senate to hold up legislation, for stymieing action.

"If they decide they're going block it, they can do that," White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said at a Politico breakfast Wednesday. He also warned they would face "significant consequences" at the polls if they do so.

Even one of the main components of Obama's plan with significant public support — expanded background checks for all gun buyers — is running into roadblocks. To win some Republican support, Democratic aides say they have may have to drop a requirement that licensed gun dealers maintain records of checks performed on behalf of private sellers.

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