Gun Violence: Biden Will Propose Improved Background Checks
(WASHINGTON) -- Vice President Biden has just started his meetings with outside groups on gun safety, but he told reporters he has already started putting together a list of recommendations that he plans to issue next Tuesday.
Biden has yet to meet with representatives from the NRA and other supporters of gun rights on the second day of this week's meetings on gun violence. But he told reporters Thursday during meeting with sportsmen, women and wildlife groups that he would deliver the list of recommendations to the president on Jan. 15 and that an improved system for background checks would be at the top of the list.
Biden met with gun violence victims groups and proponents of gun control on Wednesday. On Thursday, Biden will meet with the National Rifle Association and Attorney General Eric Holder will meet with representatives from Wal-Mart, one of the largest sellers of firearms in the country. Spokesmen for the NRA and Wal-Mart confirmed representatives from their organizations will be included in the meetings. The vice president is slated to meet with members of the entertainment industry in the evening.
James J. Baker, the NRA's top lobbyist, will attend the meeting on behalf of the organization. The NRA called for armed officers to be placed in every school after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. in December.
"We are sending a representative to hear what they have to say," Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the NRA, said before the meeting.
Wal-Mart initially turned down an invitation to participate in the talks but reversed its decision after it "underestimated the expectation to attend the meeting on Thursday in person," a spokesman said.
"We take this issue very seriously and are committed staying engaged in this discussion as the administration and Congress work toward a consensus on the right path forward," David Tovar, vice president of corporate communications for Wal-Mart, said.
The latest meetings come one day after Biden held a first round of talks this week with gun safety advocate groups and victims and survivors of gun violence. Speaking to reporters before the meeting, the vice president expressed the administration's commitment to develop effective gun policy by considering all ideas. He suggested the administration would be ready to take executive action on the issue, which would not require help from Congress.
Biden held conference calls with 15 governors and 16 state and local elected officials Wednesday.
Shortly after the shootings in which 26 children and educators were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary last month, President Obama assigned Biden to head a task force and offer suggestions on curbing gun violence.
"Every once in a while there's something that awakens the conscience of the country, and that tragic event did in a way like nothing I've seen in my career," Biden said Wednesday.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
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