Despite President Barack Obama’s bypass of gun control measures in his State of the Union address, White House adviser David Axelrod says in light of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting in Tucson, Obama soon will take up the issue.
Axelrod made the announcement to reporters Wednesday, according to TalkingPointsMemo.com. Axelrod said Obama wasn’t avoiding the issue, but rather wanted to keep his speech from getting too long-winded.
The announcement is a surprise given that Axelrod in the past hedged on when and if Obama would move on any type of gun restrictions. When pressed in a “Face the Nation” interview in 2009, Axelrod was noncommittal as to whether Obama might consider jumping into the assault weapons ban fray.
RealClearPolitics.com reported that when asked by CBS’ Harry Smith, “Is there a timetable to go after assault weapons?” Axelrod replied, “Well, you know, we’ll monitor the issue. And if there’s a consensus, we’ll move on it.”
Meanwhile, members of the House Judiciary Committee are meeting with White House officials Thursday to analyze the effectiveness of federal laws designed to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, a Republican aide with the panel told The Hill.
The meeting will flesh out whether current federal background checks are effectively preventing gun sales to the mentally ill and others barred from owning firearms. The FBI and the Justice Department are slated to attend the meeting as well, the aide said.
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