Obama backs assault weapons ban

US President Barack Obama speaks at a White House news conference on January 14, 2013.

US President Barack Obama says he supports an assault weapons ban, after accepting a “sensible” list of measures to reduce gun violence from Vice President Joe Biden.

Obama said at a White House news conference on Monday that stronger background checks for gun buyers and control of high capacity magazines and a ban on assault weapons were proposals that he said made sense.

However, the president told reporters a month after the elementary school massacre in Newtown that some proposals to curb gun violence in the country might fail to pass in the US Congress.

“If there is a step that we can take that will save even one child from what happened in Newtown, we should take that step,” Obama said in a reference to the December 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which left 20 children and six adults dead.

“The belief that we have to have stronger background checks, that we can do a much better job in terms of keeping these magazine clips with high capacity out of the hands of folks who shouldn’t have them, an assault weapons ban that is meaningful… those are things I continue to believe make sense,” Obama told reporters.

“Will all of them get through this Congress? I don’t know. But what’s uppermost in my mind is making sure I’m honest with the American people and with members of Congress about what I think will work,” he added.

The President stated that cabinet ministers led by Biden “presented me now with a list of sensible common sense steps that can be taken to make sure that the kind of violence we saw at Newtown doesn’t happen again.”

Obama said he would present the details of the proposals on gun violence later this week.

The US has experienced several mass killings over the past six months including the Newtown massacre.

In another shooting incident a week later, four people, including the shooter, were killed in the state of Pennsylvania. A number of police officers were reportedly injured during the fire exchange.

More than 100,000 Americans have signed an online petition to the White House, dubbed “We the People,” asking the Obama administration for a renewed national debate on gun control.

The National Rifle Association (NRA), however, has proposed to deploy armed guards in American schools as a means to deter future shootings.