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Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will meet with representatives from the National Rifle Association and other groups this week at the White House as he pushes forward with a charge to come up with a gun safety package by the end of the month, according to the White House.
Biden will meet with victims’ groups and advocates of stricter gun control on Wednesday before meeting with the NRA and other gun-rights and gun-owner groups on Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said. Separately, the vice president also will meet with entertainment and video game executives.
“The vice president has had several meetings and conversations so far, and he will have many more before presenting his recommendations to the president,” Carney said.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan also will be holding meetings with education groups and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will meet with mental health and disability advocates.
The White House is pushing hard to finish a package of proposals before the horror of the Newtown, Conn., elementary school massacre begins to fade from memory, as other mass shootings have.
President Barack Obama has said he is skeptical of the NRA’s proposal to place armed officers in every school. The president has already announced his support for reviving the assault weapons ban, banning large capacity clips and eliminating loopholes that allow people to buy guns without background checks.
“Those are the things that the Congress could move on very quickly, and the president urges them to do so,” Carney said.
But the White House is also looking more broadly at the issue, including at mental health and entertainment, where solutions that could get through Congress may be easier to find.
House Republicans in particular have shown no interest in taking up new gun control measures, making any package an uphill climb to say the least.