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Biden: 'Determined' to act on guns

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (2nd from R) and Attorney General Eric Holder (3rd from R) open series of task force meetings on gun violence in Washington, Jan. 9, 2012. UPI/Kevin Dietsch
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (2nd from R) and Attorney General Eric Holder (3rd from R) open series of task force meetings on gun violence in Washington, Jan. 9, 2012. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said he and President Barack Obama are "determined to take action" as he opened a series of White House meetings on gun violence.

Biden met Wednesday at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, near the White House, with representatives from gun-safety groups, survivors of gun violence and relatives of gun violence victims. It was the first of a series of planned meetings for the task force Biden is heading at the president's direction in the aftermath of the December massacre of 20 students and six teachers and staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

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The National Rifle Association is among the groups that are to participate in the series of discussions.

As Biden welcomed participants to Wednesday's session, with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder seated next to him, the vice president said gun violence in the United States "is a problem that requires immediate attention" and the administration has determined "executive action can be taken" -- suggesting Obama is prepared to use executive orders to address gun violence if Congress does not act.

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"The president and I are determined to take action," Biden said.

He said the administration will consider a wide range of possible approaches to addressing gun violence.

"I want to make clear that we're not going to get caught up in the notion that, unless we can do everything, were going to do nothing," Biden said.

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The task force also plans to discuss gun violence with representatives of the entertainment and video game industries, the White House said.

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