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Biden's Gun Policy Recommendations Coming Tuesday

The Vice President has been meeting with parties on both sides of the gun control debate, as well as mental health advocates, as he crafts proposals in response to the Dec. 14 Newtown school shooting. And the NRA responds.

Vice President Joe Biden is expected to announce sweeping policy changes to gun laws and mental health care on Tuesday — two weeks earlier than expected.

The recommendations, at the request of President Barack Obama, are a response to the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that claimed the life of 20 first-graders and six educators.

According to a report by the Huffington Post, Biden's proposals are likely to address the availability and access to certain types of guns and ammunition and tackle the issue of data collection and background checks.

While Connecticut State Police continue their investigation into the Newtown shooting, authorities have identified a 20-year-old man, Adam Lanza, as the shooter. Police said Lanza, who reportedly had some mental health issues and/or social disorder, killed his mother, Nancy, at their Newtown home before shooting his way into the nearby school.

Lanza, who was armed with an assault rifle, among other guns — all legally owned by his mother — ultimately took his own life, police said.

Biden's Remarks, NRA Responds

Biden announced Thursday — a day that saw another school shooting — that he would deliver his proposal on Tuesday, Jan. 15. In his address to the press corps, the Huffington Post quoted him as saying:

"So far [there has been] a surprising recurrence of suggestions that we have universal background checks. Not just closing the gun show loophole, but have total universal background checks including in private sales."

A blog on the vice president's website reports that, in coming up with his proposals, Biden has met and talked with elected officials at all levels of government, wildlife and sporting groups, gun control advocates and gun rights proponents, including the National Rifle Association (NRA).

In response to Thursday's announcement by the vice president, the NRA released a statement that said, in part:

"We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment. While claiming that no policy proposals would be “prejudged,” this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners — honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans." 

"It is unfortunate that this Administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation's most pressing problems," the statement continued. "We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen. Instead, we will now take our commitment and meaningful contributions to members of congress of both parties who are interested in having an honest conversation about what works — and what does not."

Steven DeVaux January 14, 2013 at 10:56 AM
Applying the test of "How does this action prevent the Newtown Tragedy?" to any new laws proposed, how does 'According to a report by the Huffington Post, Biden's proposals are likely to address the availability and access to certain types of guns and ammunition and tackle the issue of data collection and background checks' do that? Specifically data collection and background checks? Sounds they are all used after the fact since that is done today. Sounds like a gun census.
Ken January 14, 2013 at 07:35 PM
There should be substantially increased background checks with regards to mental health issues. An in depth medical mental health records search of medical records database systems is one approach. One check could be to see if an applicant or person seeking a permit or recert is taking or was issued a prescription for any medication within the past 6 months from a selected list of psych meds. A record showing one of these meds would disqualify a person from fire arm ownership until there was meds free 6 mo. period. In addition to a meds check, there would be a search for certain diagnosis and procedure codes related to mental health. A code with wordings such as: may pose a threat to themselves or others, suffers from a major personality disorder, has a chronic depressive condition, could be subject to violent and unpredictable outbursts or suffers from a schizoid disorder, paranoid syndrome, bi polar disorder would be disqualified from initial permit or recert. There could also be a questionnaire that asks about others in the permit holders house that specifically asks if anyone in the premise suffers from a mental health condition. This might have barred Lanza's mother from fire arm ownership if her sons issues were considered a disqualifying condition. I know this may sound intrusive but perhaps if you want a gun then maybe you have to agree to these checks.
Mary Davis January 15, 2013 at 12:32 AM
Gun registration programs are the steps to total confiscation. Gun confiscation programs are the first steps to tyranny.
Ken January 15, 2013 at 01:01 AM
I hope you are not saying there should be NO gun registration requirements. The problem with gun owners who only see the threat of confiscation besides coming across as paranoid is that they ignore what most reasonable people consider basic, sane and precautionary measures related to fire arm ownership. I can't imagine any reasonable person that would be against universal and meaningful background checks for gun ownership. I am not in favor of gun confiscation but I do think there is without question the need for much more and in depth background checks than currently exist for initial permit or a re certification permit that is required after the initial 5 year permit. I also believe the authority does exist to place reasonable limits on guns, magazines, ammunition or to require biometric locking devices on guns to prevent misuse by viewing this as a general safety concern.
Mary Davis January 15, 2013 at 01:37 AM
Absolutely I am saying that. A gun list makes it all too easy for the government to come take them away... and then prosecute anyone that doesn't comply.
Steven DeVaux January 15, 2013 at 01:55 AM
Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should the government at any level have any ability to a person's health records. Period. Further, the amendment of a right to privacy appears to disappear as well. Owning a gun shouldn't be done by a government blackmailing it's citizens.
Steven DeVaux January 15, 2013 at 01:57 AM
Perhaps women should be required to list the number of abortions they have had in order to get health insurance too.
Steven DeVaux January 15, 2013 at 01:57 AM
Mary, They are setting up a gun census, only now, the census will indentify people by name and address.
Ken January 15, 2013 at 02:29 AM
Steve, The medical information you reference about woman above IS ALREADY available to any insurer if you are applying for individual or small group (individually rated) coverage. Come Jan. 1, 2014, there are only 3 questions an insurer can ask going forward, your age, tobacco use and gender.
Ken January 15, 2013 at 05:37 AM
I know you are very passionate about the issue of guns and you have stated that you fear that the govt. could take horrible actions against us. I do not have that same fear that the U.S. govt. would take tryannical and abhorrent actions. I cannot see any situation where the U.S. govt. would turn against us and act like the Syrian govt. Syria's pres. is a military man. Syria is not a democracy. If the military was supporting the tryanny you fear it would not really matter if you had 1 or 10 AR-15's other weapons such as shotguns and handguns and ammunition enough for months. Such a scenario of tyranny would not play out like the movie Red Dawn. A Patrick Swayze type citizen fighter with no formal military training will not be coming to lead you and others in a glorious guerilla type action against tyranny, Unless some elements of the military turned against the tyranny by supporting citizen fighters with weapons, ammo, tactics, training and full military intervention including things like artillery and air support, another words a civil war, armed citizens alone in the long run would not be able to stand against the military.
Steven DeVaux January 15, 2013 at 10:29 AM
The government already knows your age and gender (see Social Security records for details on all but illegal aliens). That leaves tobacco use. Note that I didn't say medical coverage available to insurers. I said government. To government officials. To your congressman and senators. To your governor.
Ken D. January 15, 2013 at 05:05 PM
So you're okay with some corporate bureaucrat having access to our health records – but not a bureaucrat working for Uncle Sam?
Ken D. January 15, 2013 at 05:08 PM
Ahhhh but isnt buying a gun the first step to gun registration which is the step before confiscation which is the first step to tyranny?! Then you put your left foot and take your left foot out....and shake it all about.
Ken D. January 15, 2013 at 05:14 PM
Why the concern about being on a list? Arent most of you already NRA members, getting newsletters and magazines? Not to mention driving around with bumperstickers and decals on your cars? Do you really think if "they" wanted a list they dont already have it? Its not as if you're all very wall-flowerish and covert.
Steven DeVaux January 15, 2013 at 06:21 PM
I wasn't discussing corporate. I was discussing government. You can discuss corporate if you want to, that's your right - and I have no problem with it. I wasn't.
Steven DeVaux January 15, 2013 at 06:21 PM
I wasn't discussing corporate. I was discussing government. You can discuss corporate if you want to, that's your right - and I have no problem with it. I wasn't.

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