The White House is weighing a far broader approach to curbing gun violence than just reinstating a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, the Washington Post reported Sunday.
A working group led by Vice President Joe Biden is seriously considering measures that would require universal background checks for gun buyers and track the movement and sale of weapons through a national database, the newspaper said.
The measures would also strengthen mental health checks and stiffen penalties for carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors, the Post reported. The approach is backed by law enforcement leaders, the newspaper said.
Bloomberg being consulted
The White House has been in contact with advisers to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a gun-control advocate who could emerge as a surrogate for the administration's agenda, the newspaper said.
The Post cited several people involved in the administration's talks on gun control for its story. They included Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum.
The White House had no immediate comment on the Post story. A White House spokesman told the newspaper that Biden's group was in the middle of its review and had not decided on its final recommendations.
The NRA has successfully lobbied federal lawmakers to stop major new gun restrictions since a 1994 assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004. The ban also prohibited ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds.
"There will be plenty of time to take a look at their recommendations once they come forward," he said.
McConnell said that for the next three months Washington's debates would center on federal spending and the rising debt.
In a statement, New York Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, both Democrats, urged Biden to include in his proposals measures to prevent trafficking in illegal guns and to make it harder for felons and the mentally ill to get firearms.