Politics
2:34 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Congressman John Yarmuth Praises Obama's Gun Violence Task Force

Congressman John Yarmuth
Credit U.S. Congress

In reaction to President Obama launching a task force to address gun violence, Kentucky Third District Congressman John Yarmuth is praising the effort to tackle the issue in the wake of the Newtown school shooting.

The president pledged at a press conference Wednesday that the group—led by Vice President Joe Biden—will work swiftly to present recommendations for Congress to act on. It is the most forceful push by the administration to tackle gun control, and supporters say they are eager to see specific proposals.

Earlier this week, Yarmuth called for comprehensive regulations for firearms in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, and plans to co-sponsor legislation to ban on assault weapons.

"I share the president’s commitment to strengthening our nation’s gun laws, and I thank him for approaching the complex problem of gun violence in a comprehensive way," Yarmuth said in a statement. "Whether it is reinstating the ban on assault weapons and getting high-capacity ammunition magazines off our streets, expanding background checks to help ensure guns don’t fall into the wrong hands, addressing gaps in our mental health care system, or other failures, we must address all the factors that contribute to gun violence in our society. This task force will help in those efforts."

The congressman is also the co-sponsor measures to block the importation and possession of large capacity ammunition, requiring a background check for every firearm sale, and closing the gun-show loophole.

Observers on both sides of the country's gun debate are eager to hear the response from the National Rifle Association, which has been silent since the massacre. The leading gun right's group has scheduled a press conference for this Friday.

When asked about the NRA's impact on the task force and any legislative measures, Mr. Obama said: "The NRA is an organization that has members who are mothers and fathers and I would expect they've been impacted by this as well. And hopefully they'll do some self-reflection."

Yarmuth is a Democrat, and the only member of the Kentucky's federal delegation who has received an “F” rating from the NRA.

As The Courier-Journal's Chris Kenning and James Carroll report other lawmakers in the area have kept quiet about their stances on gun control.

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