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Biden vows to 'beat the gun lobby'

WASHINGTON -- A scrappy Vice President Joe Biden vowed Tuesday to "beat the gun lobby" by ultimately passing stronger firearm laws and said some lawmakers who voted against background checks have privately told him they want another chance.

With President Barack Obama away in Europe, Biden held a White House event to announce progress on executive orders to reduce gun violence while stressing the need for congressional action that has eluded them. "We have not given up," Biden repeatedly declared during a 25-minute speech in the South Court Auditorium next to the West Wing where he Obama announced a gun safety push in January.

"This fight isn't over, far from it," Biden said.

The Democratic-controlled Senate voted against legislation in April that would have expanded background checks for firearm purchases to gun shows and online sales, and so far no lawmaker who voted against it has announced a change of their vote.

He said lawmakers who do not support improved gun safety will "pay a political price" because voters want change after December's shooting at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School killed 20 first graders and six staff.

"We have yet to succeed in the House and Senate, but we will," Biden predicted. -- AP

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