The Ticket

Biden, Bloomberg try again on guns 6 months after Newtown

Liz Goodwin, Yahoo News
The Ticket

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Vice President Joe Biden speaks to NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a press briefing for gun-control reform, March …

Vice President Joe Biden is renewing his push for gun-control legislation with an event slated for Tuesday, marking the first time the White House has held an event on guns since its legislative push for background checks failed in the Senate in April.

A Biden aide declined to give any details about the event, which was first reported by Politico.

"The commitment of this president and the vice president to taking action to reduce gun violence is as strong today as it was at the beginning of the year and in the wake of Newtown," White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Wednesday.

The failed bipartisan bill—crafted by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa.—would have extended background checks to all commercial gun purchases, preventing people with criminal records from buying guns. President Barack Obama called its failure "shameful" and vowed to continue the fight for the legislation; though, since then the White House has remained largely silent on the issue. It's unlikely that the Republican-controlled House would ever support a similar measure.

Meanwhile, the gun-control group backed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is launching a 100-day bus tour of 25 states on Friday, exactly six months after the shootings that killed 20 children and six educators in Newtown, Conn.

The bus tour, organized by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, kicks off in Newtown and will include family members of the victims from that town as well as from other mass shootings. The tour, called "No More Names: The National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence," will travel to states to thank senators who supported the failed background check bill, as well as to pressure senators who voted against it. For example, it will stop in Maine to thank Republican Sen. Susan Collins for backing the reform, the tour's organizers told reporters on Wednesday.

Bloomberg, the country's most influential gun-control advocate, will also send a personal letter to hundreds of deep-pocketed New York donors on Wednesday to ask them to withhold cash from the four Democratic senators who did not support the background check bill in April, The New York Times reported. Those senators are Max Baucus, Mark Begich, Heidi Heitkamp and Mark Pryor.

Even though their national efforts failed, gun-control advocates have won important state-level legislative victories in Connecticut, Colorado, New York and Nevada in the past six months. Mark Glaze, the executive director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, said the group has to "rebuild grass roots on this issue" to effectively counter the National Rifle Association's influence.

Some Newtown families have also traveled to the Hill to meet with lawmakers this week about gun legislation.

Yahoo News' Olivier Knox contributed to this report from Washington.

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