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Obama injects new urgency in push for gun laws

Published on Feb 5, 2013 6:00 AM
President Barack Obama speaks before a crowd of local leaders and law enforcement officials at the Minneapolis Police Department Special Operations Center on Feb 4, 2013 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. President Obama is promoting a ban on assault weapons and expanded background checks on gun buyers. -- PHOTO : AFP

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (AFP) - President Barack Obama on Monday heaped pressure on Congress for action "soon" on curbing gun violence, flanked by uniformed police officers he said should not be outgunned on US streets.

In his most high profile intervention in the guns debate since unveiling a package of executive actions and recommendations for new laws last month, Mr Obama flew to Minneapolis, a city that has pioneered efforts to stem gun violence.

Mr Obama made a pragmatic case for legislation on the contentious issue, arguing that just because political leaders could not save every life, they should at least try to save some victims of rampant gun crime.

And characteristically, Mr Obama betrayed impatience with the pace of work in Congress, more than six weeks after the massacre of 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school again electrified the gun debate.

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