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Obama Says Gun-Control Plan Needs Help of Congress to Succeed

U.S. President Barack Obama, center, speaks during a meeting with police chiefs on Monday. Photographer: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
U.S. President Barack Obama, center, speaks during a meeting with police chiefs on Monday. Photographer: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama said his main proposals to curb gun violence can only succeed with the help of Congress, where new limits on firearms ownership face resistance.

Obama is meeting at the White House with police chiefs to talk about his proposals, including broader background checks and limiting availability of military-style semiautomatic rifles with high-capacity ammunition magazines.

“The only way we’re going to be able to do everything that needs to be done is with the cooperation of Congress,” Obama told reporters before the closed-door discussion got under way. “We recognize that this issue elicits a lot of passion across the country.” Obama’s meeting included the top law enforcement officials from three cities where there have been recent mass shootings -- Newtown, Connecticut; Aurora, Colorado; and Oak Creek, Wisconsin -- as the administration presses for legislation.

Obama responded to a shooting at a Newtown elementary school last month with the proposal to reinstate the assault weapon ban and to mandate background checks for all gun buyers. He also signed 23 executive actions, including several designed to maximize prosecution of gun crimes and improve access to government data for background checks. Vice President Joe Biden led an administration review of gun policy and has been leading the White House effort to promote the new measures.

Twenty students and six educators were killed in a shooting Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. The gunman’s main weapon was an assault-style rifle with high-capacity magazines, according to police.

Twelve people were killed and at least 58 were injured on July 20 when a gunman opened fire during a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater. Seven people, including the alleged gunman, died in a shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, on Aug. 5.

To contact the reporters on this story: Mike Dorning in Washington at mdorning@bloomberg.net; Roger Runningen in Washington at rrunningen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net

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