WASHINGTON (AP) — Gun legislation is taking shape on Capitol Hill, but President Barack Obama has kept a low profile lately on an issue he’s made a critical part of his second-term agenda.

The president has kept a low profile in the debate during the past three weeks as gun bills are written, embroiled instead in a budget battle. He’s letting Vice President Joe Biden bang the drum for tighter gun laws.

White House officials say the president plans to speak out on gun control as it moves toward a Senate vote in the coming weeks. But for now, he’s staying out of delicate negotiations among lawmakers. The White House says he’ll become more vocal if the legislative process hits a roadblock.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.