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White House rules out new gun control laws

(Xinhua)

09:23, July 27, 2012

WASHINGTON, July 26 (Xinhua) -- White House Spokesman Jay Carney on Thursday ruled out new gun control laws, saying U.S. President Barack Obama will focus on other measures to reduce gun violence.

Speaking at a regular briefing, Carney said Obama supports a ban on the sale of assault weapons that expired in 2004, but has no intention of pushing for its renewal, adding "there are things we can do short of legislation and short of gun laws that can reduce violence in our society."

The comment came one day after Obama told a National Urban League convention in New Orleans that AK-47s "belong in the hands of soldiers, not the hands of criminals." He emphasized background checks as effective means to prevent those with criminal records and the "mentally unbalanced" from obtaining guns, while faulting the Congress for lack of progress in reducing gun violence.

"We have to remember that in the wake of an awful event" like the shooting that killed 12 people in Aurora, Colorado, "violence is not an isolated incident in America, and we need to take a broader look and tackle it from a number of different directions," said Carney.

The Aurora shooting has revived the gun control debate. However, both the White House and presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney have effectively dismissed the prospects of stricter gun control. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin said earlier Thursday he saw " zero" chance of such legislation passing Congress in the near future.

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