Leaders React to President's Gun Control Announcement - WSET.com - ABC13

Leaders React to President's Gun Control Announcement

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Washington, DC - At the last press conference of his first term in office, President Obama announced Monday that he would stop at nothing to make sure all Americans are safe from gun violence, going so far as to say if new laws were not approved by congress, he'd use an executive order, to make sure changes come swiftly.

Monday marked one month after the school shooting massacre in Newtown. The President used the anniversary to make his point very clear.

Locally though, representatives in Congress aren't so sure he has the right solutions.

"If there's a step we can take that will save even one child from what happened in Newtown, we should take that step" said Obama at Monday's press conference.

Steps, the President has outlined as potentially including stronger background checks for gun purchasers, restricting high capacity magazine clips, and renewing an assault weapons ban.

"My starting point is to not worry about the politics; my starting point is to focus on what makes sense, what works. What should we be doing to make sure that our children are safe" he said.

The President would have an uphill battle, being required to pass any new legislation through a conservative Congress.

Some action however can be made by an executive order. Something gun advocates are up in arms about.

Congressman Bob Goodlatte has an "A" rating by the NRA. And, the group gave his campaign $9,000 during his most recent run for congress.

He released this statement Monday on the heels of the President's announcement:

"We must ensure that any proposed solutions will actually be meaningful in preventing the taking of innocent life and that they do not trample on the rights of law-abiding citizens to exercise their Constitutionally-guaranteed rights."

Newly elected Senator, Tim Kaine, by contrast, has an "F" rating by the NRA.

In an interview Monday, he described his feelings on the use of assault weapons in America.

"I do think that combat weapons and these kind of killer magazines are not things people need for self-defense or hunting" he said.

Republican Congressman, Robert Hurt said he thinks any new legislation should look at restricting guns to criminals and the mentally ill.

An announcement from the President is expected later this week on what exactly that new legislation will be.

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