Biden and the White House are 'still pushing' for assault weapons ban

Vice President Biden and the Obama administration still hope to pass a federal assault weapons ban, Biden said Wednesday.

"I'm still pushing that it pass — we are still pushing that it pass. The same thing was told to me when the first assault weapons ban in '94 was attached to the Biden crime bill, that it couldn't possibly pass," Biden said Wednesday in an interview with NPR. "It was declared dead several times."

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Earlier in the week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said that a proposal to reinstitute a federal assault weapons ban would not be included in a gun control bill the Senate plans to vote on soon. Reid said the proposal, which Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced, would have weighed down the rest of the gun control bill. New gun conttrol legislation, especially an assault weapons ban, faces strong opposition in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

President Obama has urged Congress to pass legislation reinstating a ban on assault weapons.

Obama also charged Biden with leading a Congressional task force to make recommendations for reducing gun violence.

Biden has been a staunch proponent of passing new gun laws. He also served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1994 when the panel considered a crime bill that included a 10-year assault weapons ban.

"I believe that the vast majority of the American people agree with us, the vast majority of gun owners agree with us, that military-style assault weapons are — these are weapons of war; they don't belong in the street," Biden said. "And [in] the recent decision declaring the right of someone to own a weapon in their home for self-protection, Justice [Antonin] Scalia acknowledged that you can constitutionally ban certain types of weapons. So I'm not going to give up on this."

The effort to pass new gun laws is in response to a shooting massacre last December at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut that resulted in 28 dead, including 20 young children.

On Tuesday White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said the White House would "find the votes" to pass the ban.