White House takes on gun control, considers weapons ban - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

White House takes on gun control, considers weapons ban

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The White House takes on gun control Wednesday, hoping to build momentum for a new assault weapons ban.

President Obama wants to reinstitute a ban on so-called assault weapons, semi automatic rifles that have a military appearance.  He also wants high capacity magazines outlawed and perhaps a new national database for gun ownership.

Politically, the administration sees a real opening here in the wake of December's shooting attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, where most of the victims were children.

Vice President Joe Biden is leading Wednesday's meetings to help develop a new strategy.

"I think you heard the President say that he expected and had asked the Vice President to report back to him this month.  I think that demonstrates the speed with which the President hopes to act," said Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary.

Former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, still recovering from her attack two years ago Tuesday, is making her case for tighter gun laws.

The National Rifle Association will play a part in this as well.

NRA supporters say assault weapons bans at the state level have been ineffective.

"But there's no evidence that those bans or the assault weapons ban at the federal level from 1994 to 2004 had any measurable effect on crime," said Rep. Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer says she is not in favor of more gun control and says she supports Second Amendment rights, but does feel more needs to be done to keep Arizona schools safe.

"I think we all can agree that we need to assure that our schools are safe and that public areas are safe but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's gun control, it means that we have to come up with solutions," said Brewer.

The governor says she's hopeful something will get done this legislative session on the federal level. If not there, then on the state level.

Another issue that both sides will talk about in the days ahead: taking a closer look at the nation's mental health policies as they pertain to gun ownership.

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