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Obama unveils sweeping gun-control push amid differences


08:39, January 17, 2013

U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden attend an event on gun violence reduction proposals at the White House in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, Jan. 16, 2013. Obama on Wednesday unveiled a sweeping and expansive package of gun violence reduction proposals. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday unveiled a sweeping and expansive package of gun violence reduction proposals, a month after the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting that killed 26 people including 20 schoolchildren.

The measures, quickly assembled by a White House task force headed by Vice President Joe Biden after the December massacre sparked a nationwide debate on gun-control necessity, was deemed as the most sweeping gun-control effort in the United States in nearly two decades.

While hailed by gun-control supporters, the proposals are set to met with a backlash from gun rights groups and resistance at the Congress as the U.S. general public wavered over a priority to save the faltering economy or cure rampant gun violence.


In the presence of an applauding crowd at the White House, the president signed 23 executive actions, enabling the White House to act immediately without congressional action. The measures include helping schools to hire police officers and increasing research on gun violence.

The comprehensive package also includes proposals that require the Congress to adopt relevant legislation to renew a ban on military-style assault weapons, impose a 10-round limit on ammunition magazines and expand background checks for all gun sales.

The proposals are based on recommendations by the White House task force, which was assigned by Obama last month. The task force moved quickly last week hosting meetings with shareholders of gun issues, including gun-control advocates and groups, video games and entertainment industry as well as gun rights groups.

"In the month since 20 precious children and six brave adults were violently taken from us at Sandy Hook Elementary, more than 900 of our fellow Americans have reportedly died at the end of a gun -- 900 in the past month," said Obama at the event.

He was joined by gun-control advocates and children from around the country who wrote him letters in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre to express concerns over gun violence and school safety.

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