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Blumenthal: ‘Executive action’ on guns will only tighten enforcement

Blumenthal, in an interview on CNN’s “Starting Point,” said that Vice President Biden would seek the support of gun-advocacy groups for those efforts during his meeting with the National Rifle Association (NRA) later in the day. 

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"I think that, very realistically, he's focusing on what the president can do to improve enforcement through executive action, which, by the way, ought to be very welcome to the gun-rights activists, because they've been saying for years and years [that] the existing laws should be enforced more effectively and proactively," Blumenthal said.

Blumenthal’s comments come after Biden on Wednesday hinted that the White House was ready to move unilaterally where it could on the issue of gun violence, a suggestion that drew concern from many gun-rights groups.

“The president is going to act,” said Biden. “There are executive orders, executive action that can be taken. We haven't decided what that is yet, but we're compiling it all.”

But Blumenthal suggested that the White House was looking simply to increase enforcement efforts, not circumvent Congress to implement new restrictions on gun purchases. 

"The vice president is reaching out to them, will meet with them today, perhaps better explain what he meant," Blumenthal said.

The Connecticut lawmaker also championed legislation he is introducing in the Senate that would require retailers to do background checks and submit law enforcement reports when selling certain types of ammunition.

"We need to do the same kind of checks with the federal database that we do with 60 percent of firearm purchases," Blumenthal said, adding that "the legislation I'm proposing would very simply enforce the existing ban" that restricts ammunition purchases for those with a history of violent crimes or mental illness.

"It's not just a law, it's not just a ban, but a good law," Blumenthal said. "And active, aggressive enforcement."

Blumenthal also said that he would be introducing an updated version of the assault-weapons ban with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) that "will not be undermined" by exceptions and loopholes.