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Biden's Policy Recommendations Coming Tuesday

The Vice President has been meeting with parties on both sides of the gun control debate, as well as mental health advocates, as he crafts proposals in response to the Dec. 14 Newtown school shooting. And the NRA responds.

Vice President Joe Biden is expected to announce sweeping policy changes to gun laws and mental health care on Tuesday — two weeks earlier than expected.

The recommendations, at the request of President Barack Obama, are a response to the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that claimed the life of 20 first-graders and six educators.

According to a report by the Huffington Post, Biden's proposals are likely to address the availability and access to certain types of guns and ammunition and tackle the issue of data collection and background checks.

While Connecticut State Police continue their investigation into the Newtown shooting, authorities have identified a .

Police said Lanza, who reportedly had some mental health issues and/or social disorder, killed his mother, Nancy, at their Newtown home before shooting his way into the nearby school.

Lanza, who was armed with an assault rifle, among other guns — all legally owned by his mother — ultimately took his own life, police said.

Biden's Remarks, NRA Responds

Biden announced Thursday — a day that saw another school shooting — that he would deliver his proposal on Tuesday, Jan. 15. In his address to the press corps, the Huffington Post quoted him as saying:

"So far [there has been] a surprising recurrence of suggestions that we have universal background checks. Not just closing the gun show loophole, but have total universal background checks including in private sales."

A blog on the vice president's website reports that, in coming up with his proposals, Biden has met and talked with elected officials at all levels of government, wildlife and sporting groups, gun control advocates and gun rights proponents, including the National Rifle Association (NRA).

In response to Thursday's announcement by the vice president, the NRA released a statement that said, in part:

"We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment. While claiming that no policy proposals would be “prejudged,” this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners — honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans." 

"It is unfortunate that this Administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation's most pressing problems," the statement continued. "We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen. Instead, we will now take our commitment and meaningful contributions to members of congress of both parties who are interested in having an honest conversation about what works — and what does not."

Mark Norko January 14, 2013 at 02:06 AM
I,m very sick over Sandy Hill. No one should have to go through that ordeal. It happened on my birthday which makes my day notorious for ever.But still, I believe that banning of guns is the wrong move. Just look at any country that has done that. Look at Russia, Germany (we all know what happned there) England, has more violent crime and home invasions than the U.S. Australia is having the same problems. There right to defend themselves was stripped from them by a promise of the government to have a safer place to live. Not true. Look at all the large cities in the U.S. over 250,000 population, that is where the majority of gun related crimes have happened. They all have a ban on firearms!! The violent crime rate has dropped by 54% in the U.S. after the ban was lifted. I want to know why these statistic's are not being brought forward. Our second ammentment is at risk. If a gun ban is the answer you can count me out. Prescription drugs and mental healt issues are more inline. Maybe the press should do some research on some of the information availible to you before getting on a destructive band wagon for law abiding citizens.
Richard Poulton January 14, 2013 at 02:33 PM
Criminal back ground checks are easy to do. But unless such checks include boots on the ground to speak with those familiar with someone looking to purchase or get permitted, to get real character and personnality history, that persons true suitability will not be found. One could have a clean record but neighborhood/emlpoyee checks could show one to be a "hot head". Also, until such time as society does away with such as the doctor-patient confidentiality rules, any mental health concerns will never be determined. Even if a back ground check developes information of a past treatment, no doctor will ever release what transpired during treatment or what issues a patient had. To be honest I don't think there will ever be a change that will make everyone happy. I think a lot of the problems still fall to the gun owner for failure to properly store the weapon, or keeping it in a home where a family member has mental health issues.

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