By Ben Goad - 01/14/13 11:49 PM EST
Vice President Biden’s task force has identified 19 executive actions that President Obama could take on gun violence without congressional approval, according to a member of the panel.
Biden met with President Obama on Monday to deliver the recommendations of the task force, which was formed in response to last year’s massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. Biden also briefed members of Congress who participated in the group, including Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.).
“He also spoke about what the president can do by executive action and there were some 19 different things that the president can do,” Speier said on CNN. “There is much that can be done. And I'm not going to let just one bill be the defining way that we address this issue.”
Speier joined a growing chorus of Democrats pressing Obama to use executive power to toughen gun laws.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) held a press call with reporters on Monday to urge the president to shore up the National Instant Background Check System (NICS.)
The database is meant to keep guns out of the hands of felons, drug abusers, the severely mentally ill and others who are prohibited from owning firearms. But most states — and even some federal agencies — have declined to share records with the system.
Obama appears ready to move on at least a portion of the executive order recommendations.
“I'm confident that there are some steps that we can take that don't require legislation and that are within my authority as president,” he said during a news conference Monday. “And where you get a step that has the opportunity to reduce the possibility of gun violence, then I want to go ahead and take it. “