Obama, White House Are Very, Very Serious About Renewing the Assault Weapons Ban

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We’ve long know that the failure to pass meaningful gun reform has been a point of bitter frustration for President Obama, and it appears that in the last few months of his presidency, he and his White House staff will be making a hard push to overcome years of inertia. On the heels of the latest shootings in Orlando, senior adviser Valerie Jarrett will hold a conference call Monday on the specific topic of renewing the assault weapons ban.

Joe Biden was the one to announce the call after a petition to ban AR-15 assault rifles gathered 200,000 signatures on the White House “We the People” site. “Assault weapons and high-capacity magazines should be banned from civilian ownership,” Bide wrote.

Obama’s tone on guns has turned to anger in recent months, especially in the aftermath of the San Bernardino shootings last December, when he spoke so passionately in a speech that he began to cry:

Meanwhile, the Democratic filibuster in the Senate ended with an agreement from Republicans to hold a vote on two different topics: Universal background checks for gun purchases, and stricter measures prohibiting those on terrorist watch lists from legally buying weapons, as Omar Pateen had before killing 50 in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

The dual effort from the White House and congressional Democrats gives gun control the most legislative momentum it has had in years—possibly decades. Still, the entrench Republican opposition, funded by NRA dollars, will be difficult to dislodge, and despite Obama’s late push, the fight will undoubtedly continue on into the next administration.

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