With President Obama readying an overhaul of the nation’s gun laws, a liberal think tank with singular influence throughout his administration is pushing for a sweeping agenda of strict new restrictions on and federal oversight of gun and ammunition sales.
The Center for American Progress is recommending 13 new gun policies to the White House — some of them executive actions that would not require the approval of Congress — in what amounts to the progressive community’s wish list.
CAP’s proposals — which include requiring universal background checks, banning military-grade assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, and modernizing data systems to track gun sales and enforce existing laws — are all but certain to face stiff opposition from the National Rifle Association and its many allies in Congress.
Obama — as well as Vice President Biden, who is leading the administration’s gun violence task force — has voiced support for many of these measures. Yet it is unclear which policies he ultimately will propose to Congress. Biden is planning to present his group’s recommendations to Obama on Tuesday.
CAP’s recommendations, presented Friday to White House officials and detailed in an 11-page report obtained by The Washington Post, establish a benchmark for what many in Obama’s liberal base are urging him to do after last month’s massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
“There’s nothing here that interferes with the rights of people to have a gun to protect themselves,” CAP President Neera Tanden said. But, she added, “we have daily episodes where it seems that guns are in the wrong hands, and that’s why we think it’s important that the president acts.”