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Biden on guns: Obama 'is going to act'


January 09. 2013 10:18PM
Vice President Joe Biden, second from left, speaks to representatives of gun safety and gun violence victims' groups in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington on Wednesday. President Barack Obama is "determined to take action" against gun violence and is weighing possible executive orders aimed at preventing further attacks like last month's shooting massacre at a Connecticut elementary school, Biden said. Also pictured is Attorney General Eric Holder, on Biden's right. (REUTERS)

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is "determined to take action" against gun violence and is considering executive orders aimed at preventing attacks like last month's at a Connecticut elementary school, Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday.

Biden opened a White House meeting with gun violence victims and gun-control advocates as part of his effort to craft a package of recommendations that Obama has requested by the end of January.

The administration is considering a combination of executive actions and legislation and is determined to act quickly, Biden said.

"We are not going to get caught up in the notion that unless we do everything we're going to do nothing," the vice president told reporters before the meeting. "There is a pretty wide consensus on three or four or five things in the gun safety area that could and should be done."

In a reversal, Walmart Stores Inc said it would send a representative to Washington to meet with Biden today, after initially saying it would not send anyone. Walmart, the world's largest retailer, is the largest U.S. gun seller.

"We underestimated the expectation to attend the meeting on Thursday in person, so we are sending an appropriate representative to participate," spokesman David Tovar said.

After the Newtown shooting, Obama asked Biden to come up with ideas to curb gun violence. The President is expected to present many of them in his State of the Union address.

Obama has said he wants new gun control measures passed during the first year of his second term.

Biden is due to meet with the National Rifle Association today.

"We're reaching out to all parties on whatever side of this debate you fall," he said. "But the President is going to act. There are executive orders, executive action that can be taken."

No decision has been made yet on what those actions would be, he added. Legislative measures are also under consideration, Biden said.

Biden's task force is examining legislation that would ban assault rifles, but is also looking at the role of violent movies and video games in mass shootings and whether there is adequate access to mental health services.

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