Obama to announce gun violence task force headed by VP Biden

President Obama plans to formally announce on Wednesday a White House working group tasked with finding solutions to reduce gun violence in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shootings.

The task force will be headed by Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenOvernight Tech: FCC won't delay net neutrality vote | Google pulls YouTube from Amazon devices | Biden scolds social media firms over transparency Medicaid funds shouldn't be used to subsidize state taxes on health care Biden hits social media firms over lack of transparency MORE, and is expected to develop a comprehensive strategy to reduce gun crime. Obama and Biden are both expected to attend the announcement, slated for late Wednesday morning in the White House briefing room.

On Tuesday, White House press secretary Jay Carney said the group would "engage with the American people; engage with lawmakers, with members of his administration, with mental health professionals, with law enforcement officials, with parents, communities, to try to find answers to this problem."

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"And that includes [the president’s] support for legislation that, like the assault-weapons ban, that addresses issues of access to guns," Carney continued. "It will include other issues that he thinks are part of the scourge of gun violence."

Earlier in the week, Obama conferred with Biden and other top Cabinet officials, including Attorney General Eric HolderEric H. HolderFBI director defends agency after Trump attacks: It's an 'honor to represent you' FBI agents fire back at Trump: Saying we're not dedicated is 'simply false' Holder hits back at Trump: The FBI’s reputation is not in 'tatters' MORE, Education Secretary Arne DuncanArne DuncanTrump administration is putting profits over students Chicago to make future plans a graduation requirement: report Top Education official resigned over dispute with DeVos: report MORE and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusObama cabinet official: Clinton White House doubled down on 'abusive behavior' John Roberts has tough job of keeping faith in Supreme Court Price was a disaster for HHS — Time for an administrator, not an ideologue MORE.

"Their participation underscores the comprehensive way in which the president views this problem," Carney said.



The White House has indicated that in addition to supporting an assault-weapons ban, the president will call for restrictions on high-capacity ammunition clips and legislation that will close the gun-show exception for background checks. But Obama is also expected to examine mental-health programs and depictions of violence in entertainment, including movies and video games.


"One of the reasons why the president wants to expand the net beyond considerations of gun laws is because he recognizes that and agrees with it that we need to look broadly at all of the potential contributors to the scourge of gun violence in this country," Carney said.