Biden to announce progress on executive actions on gun control

June 18, 2013 at 9:59 AM
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WASHINGTON, June 18 (UPI) -- The administration of U.S. President Obama has made progress on anti-gun violence initiatives through executive actions, a report indicates.

Vice President Joe Biden was to discuss a progress report Tuesday that finds the administration has "completed or made significant progress" on 21 of 23 executive actions Obama announced in January, Politico reported.

The report highlights, among other things, Attorney General Eric Holder forming a gun crime enforcement working group and launching a "comprehensive review" on existing gun laws, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives publishing guidance on how to process already required background checks and the Justice Department proposing a rule that would give local law enforcement the ability to run a federal background check before returning a seized gun.

The report said congressional passage of gun-control laws Obama sought after the December shootings in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school "remains the single most important step we could take to reduce gun violence."

The U.S. Senate rejected a bill that would have expanded background checks in April.

Speaking on background Monday with reporters, administration officials declined to say whether Biden has met with senators involved in the gun control push.

"This is something that continues to be at the top of the agenda for the president and the vice president," one official said. "We're not in a position to confirm that those individual conversations, but we're definitely in a position to confirm that those conversations are ongoing because that is a legislative priority of ours."

The two uncompleted actions are confirmation of Todd Jones as ATF director and finalizing Health and Human Services regulations on mental health benefits, the report said.

Jones had a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.

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