The Straits Times
Published on Jan 10, 2013

Biden says Obama could use executive orders to restrict guns


WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Vice-President Joe Biden said on Wednesday the White House plans to act quickly to curb gun violence and will explore all avenues - including executive orders that would not require the approval of Congress - to try to prevent incidents like last month's massacre at a Connecticut school.

Kicking off a series of White House meetings on gun violence, Mr Biden said the administration would work with gun-control advocates and gun-rights supporters to build a political consensus on restrictions. But Mr Biden made clear that President Barack Obama is prepared to act on his own if necessary.

"We are not going to get caught up in the notion that unless we can do everything, we're going to do nothing. It's critically important that we act," said Mr Biden, who on Thursday will meet with pro-gun groups including the National Rifle Association (NRA), which claims 4 million members and is the gun lobby's most prominent organisation.

Mr Biden, whose panel was formed after 20 schoolchildren and six adults were killed on Dec 14 by a gunman at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, has been ordered by Mr Obama to come up with policy proposals on guns by the end of January.