Vice President Biden Suggests Executive Action on Gun Control
Vice President Joe Biden says President Obama could use executive action -- and bypass Congress -- to toughen gun control laws.
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Vice President Biden suggested Wednesday that the White House could take unilateral action on gun control, as he kicked off a round of meetings aimed at finding ways to curb gun violence.
The vice president met Wednesday with gun-safety and victims groups, saying he is "determined" to take "urgent action" to address gun violence.
"This is not an exercise in photo opportunities or just getting to ask you all what your opinions are. We are vitally interested in
what you have to say," Biden said.
The White House has sought to avoid prejudging what Biden's recommendations would be. But the vice president hinted Wednesday that executive action -- action by the president in which Congress would not have a say -- would indeed be involved.
"Executive action ... can be taken," Biden said, adding "we haven't decided what that is yet."
He also said separate legislative action would be "required."
Among the gun-advocacy groups attending the meeting Wednesday were Arizona for Gun Safety, the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence, the Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus and Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
The vice president will hear from the other side of the gun-control debate Thursday, when the nation's leading gun lobby meets face to face with his task force in what could be a testy session. The National Rifle Association confirmed to Fox News that the group accepted an invitation to meet with the task force, which is running up against an end-of-the-month deadline to produce a set of proposals.
The administration says mental health and the entertainment industry will likely be examined as part of that process. Biden has also scheduled a meeting with representatives from the entertainment and video game industries. But much of the discussion, and proposals from Democratic members of Congress, continue to center around gun control. The meeting Wednesday with gun safety groups will likely focus on those kinds of proposals.
The NRA has been at the helm of fighting those proposals ever since the group broke its post-Connecticut silence and called for a national school security plan to install armed officers at every school in the country.
The White House and the NRA have found little common ground as the two groups craft separate responses to the tragedy.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reiterated Tuesday that President Obama is "skeptical that putting more guns in schools would solve this problem."
It's unclear how the meeting Thursday will be structured. The NRA told Fox News that they are sending a representative to hear what the White House has to say. Carney, though, said the task force is "designed to get input" from others.
"Then the vice president's group will assess different actions," Carney said.
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