Washington • Even as the issue of guns shifts to the forefront of the presidential campaign, the White House and the Senate's top Democrat made it clear Thursday that new gun legislation will not be on the political agenda this year. Instead, President Barack Obama intends to focus on other ways to combat gun violence a position not unlike that of his rival, Mitt Romney.
Days after the mass shootings in Colorado, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama still supports a ban on the sale of assault weapons, a restriction that expired in 2004. But he added: "There are things we can do short of legislation and short of gun laws that can reduce violence in our society."
Carney comment the day after Obama, in a speech to an African-American group Wednesday in New Orleans, embraced some degree of additional restrictions on guns. He acknowledged that not enough had been done to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals and pledged to work with lawmakers from both parties to move forward on the matter.