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Obama: Gun reform needs 'cooperation of Congress'

The effort was the latest push by the White House to keep the president's gun-control plan on the front burner even as Congress is beginning debate over a comprehensive budget deal and immigration reform. Obama has called for a series of bills that would ban semi-automatic weapons with military features — often referred to as assault weapons — along with high-capacity magazines. The president has also called for universal background checks on gun purchases along with expanded research into the causes of gun violence.

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"The only way that we're going to be able to do everything that needs to be done is with the cooperation of Congress," Obama said. "And that means passing serious laws that restrict the access and availability of assault weapons and magazine clips that aren't necessary for hunters and sportsmen and those responsible gun owners who are out there. It means that we are serious about universal background checks. It means that we take seriously issues mental health and school safety."

Michael Kehoe, the police chief from Newton, Conn. — the site of December's mass shooting at an elementary school that left 20 children and 6 employees dead — was in attendance at the meeting, as well as top law enforcement officials from Aurora, Colo., the site of the movie theater shooting in July that left 12 dead, and Oak Creek, Wis., where six were killed at a Sikh temple.

The meeting was also attended by members of the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association and Major County Sheriffs Association, as well as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

For more on Obama's remarks, click here.