Washington, D.C. — President Barack Obama announced today a package of legislative proposals and executive actions to stem the epidemic of gun violence in our nation. Today’s announcement marks the first time in history that such a comprehensive gun violence prevention package has been released. Developed in the wake of last month’s devastating massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the proposals unveiled today also address the tragic reality that an average of 33 Americans are murdered with guns every day. Winnie Stachelberg, Executive Vice President of External Affairs at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
The president and vice president are leading the fight against gun violence—but they cannot do it alone. Now is the time for Congress to pass common-sense legislation that protects our families from needless gun violence. We need to ensure that there is a universal background check system that prevents dangerous people from being able to buy a gun. And it’s time that Congress take action to protect our communities from deadly military-style assault weapons. We are not talking about radical measures but common-sense solutions supported by a majority of the American people, as well as NRA members and gun owners.
The president was joined by Vice President Joe Biden who has spent the month following the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre convening dozens of meetings with victims’ families, sportsmen and hunters, law enforcement, elected officials, and faith leaders. The proposals include a call for universal background checks as well as a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The president made clear he was not going to wait for Congress to act. He announced numerous actions that will take effect immediately, including antibullying efforts and mental health initiatives to better and earlier identify warning signs.
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- CAP Report: Preventing Gun Violence in Our Nation by Neera Tanden, Winnie Stachelberg, Arkadi Gerney, and Danielle Baussan
- CAP Action Video: Preventing Gun Violence: A Conversation with Mayor Emanuel, Rep. Thompson, Neera Tanden