By Justin Sink
Vice President Biden and other White House officials will travel to Richmond, Va., on Friday to campaign for President Obama's plan to reduce gun violence.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) will join Biden at the event, the first championing the president's proposals since they were unveiled last week. The White House said it would release additional details, including other participants and the location of the event, later.
At the White House last Wednesday, Obama urged congressional leaders to pass bans on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips along with universal background checks intended to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. Obama vowed "to use whatever weight this office holds" to make the new rules a reality.
Obama's package on gun violence was developed based on recommendations formulated by a task force headed by Biden in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shooting. Biden spent much of the last month meeting with stakeholders, ranging from the entertainment industry and sportsmen groups to gun-rights proponents like the National Rifle Association (NRA).
On Wednesday, White House press secretary Jay Carney said the president was likely to begin traveling soon to host campaign-style events in support of his policy agenda.
"I think you can fully expect that his commitment to engaging the American people in these important discussions about our future will continue," Carney said.
The president's campaign apparatus has already begun sending e-mails in support of his gun-violence proposals, an early indication that the White House is planning a full-court press on his plan.
The president's efforts are likely to face stiff opposition, especially in states like Virginia, where there a strong history of gun rights. On Wednesday, Wayne LaPierre — the president of the NRA, which is based in Virginia — said the president's call for new gun restrictions made a "mockery" of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution.
"When absolutes are abandoned for principles, the U.S. Constitution becomes a blank slate for anyone's graffiti," LaPierre said. "Words do have meaning, Mr. President. And those meanings are absolute, especially when it comes to our Bill of Rights."