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Obama Won't Be Pushing Second Amendment Rollback After Latest Shooting

The White House said Obama believes gun violence can be addressed without rolling back the Second Amendment (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After Wednesday's shooting during a local television news live shot in Virginia, the White House said President Barack Obama is continuing to call for new gun safety laws.  

But White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Obama won't be following the lead of some Republicans who want to address immigration by changing the Fourteenth Amendment with a call to curtail the Second Amendment.  

"The president does not advocate changing the Second Amendment. He believes that we can actually take commonsense steps that are entirely consistent with the protections included in the Second Amendment, but would actually have an important impact on reducing gun violence in this country," Earnest told reporters.  

"When it comes to gun safety measures, the president believes that there are commonsense things that Congress can do," Earnest said, again highlighting a pitch to close the loophole that allows purchases without adequate background checks for would-be firearms purchasers at gun shows.  

"That's the kind of step that we could take that wouldn't prevent a law-abiding American from exercising their Second Amendment rights, but yet could prevent some individuals who shouldn't have a gun — who we all agree shouldn't have a gun — from getting one so easily," Earnest said. "It's reasonable for different communities to reach different conclusions about what their gun laws should be, that the laws about gun safety in a sparsely-populated rural community I think could justifiably be different than a dense urban community like the District of Columbia."  

At a White House press briefing, Earnest was asked specifically about the restrictive gun laws in effect in Washington, D.C., where the number of murders has spiked in 2015.  

"I think we should be able to account for those kinds of different circumstances when designing what are the best gun safety laws," Earnest said.

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