President Barack Obama unveiled a broad array of new gun control proposals last week, but already his administration has narrowed the main force of their effort behind just one: universal background checks. …
Polls show of all that the president proposed — including a new assault weapons ban and a ban on high-capacity magazines — universal background checks is the one the widest majority of Americans back. Now Obama and Biden are seeking to mobilize that support and reassure wary gun owners that weapons bans won’t be the first priority.
The White House is going to great lengths to describe background checks as a response with broad, bipartisan support — a message the vice president carried to a roundtable with administration officials at Virginia Commonwealth University and stressed to reporters afterward.
“There should be universal background checks, universal background checks,” Biden said. “It in no way impacts upon someone’s ability under the Constitution to own a gun. Zero, zero. It’s enforcing a law – some folks say, ‘Look, just enforce the laws that are on the books.’ Well, the first step to do that is put a law on the books that says all those folks that have adjudicated incapable of owning a gun under the law, make sure we have access to their names. That’s why there is a need for universal background checks.”