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Biden Leads Effort For New Gun Legislation

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A series of high-profile meetings began Wednesday at the White House with the goal of finding solutions to gun violence.

In what marks the beginning of an administration push for new gun legislation, Vice President Joe Biden is meeting with victims' groups and gun safety organizations in an effort to find ways of curbing gun violence.

President Barack Obama called for the action after the mass shooting of 27 people, 20 of them 6- and 7-year-old children, in Newtown, Conn., last month.

Biden said, "Every once in a while, there's something that awakens the conscience of the country; and that tragic event did it in a way like nothing I've seen in my career."

The president wants Congress to reinstate a ban on military-style assault weapons, close loopholes in background checks, and make gun trafficking a felony.

During this week's meetings the task force will also look into the impact of violent movies and video games.

Press Secretary Jay Carney said, "The vice president's group will assess different actions, make recommendations, and the president will decide what he would like to pursue."

Gun-rights advocates and the NRA are taking part this week, as well, and are resisting tighter gun restrictions while pitching their own suggestions.

Wayne LaPierre of the NRA called on Congress "to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation."

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head during a mass shooting two years ago, is forming a political action committee to counter the gun lobby.

President Obama wants policy recommendations from Biden's task force by the end of the month and has promised to implement them quickly through legislative proposals and executive action.

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