WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama was meeting on Monday with police chiefs from the three U.S. communities that saw the worst mass shootings of 2012, as his administration continues its push to address gun violence.
Obama was to meet at the White House with the police chiefs from Aurora, Colorado, where 12 were killed; Oak Creek, Wisconsin, where six died in an assault on a Sikh temple; and Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were shot dead.
A White House official said representatives from the Major Cities Chiefs Association and the Major County Sheriffs Association will also participate. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the meeting publicly.
The Obama administration has been reaching out to gun owners for support as it tries to get Congress to act on proposals that include a ban on military-style assault weapons. Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein is pushing a measure that would prohibit 157 specific weapons and ammunition magazines that have more than 10 rounds, over objections from the nation’s largest gun-rights lobbying group, the National Rifle Association.
The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to take up the gun control proposals Wednesday.
In an interview with The New Republic that will appear in the Feb. 11 issue, Obama said he has “a profound respect” for the country’s long tradition of hunting and said it’s understandable that people are protective of it.
Obama said he’s fired a gun himself. “In fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time.”
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.