The page, which asks signers to give their email address and name if they agree with the plan that Obama announced on Wednesday, is hosted on Obama’s campaign website and is part of a full-court press by the administration to publicize the plan and drum up public support. According to a tweet from Jim Messina, the campaign manager for Obama's reelection campaign, “thousands” have already signed.
Messina also sent out an email to Obama’s still-robust campaign list on Thursday directing them to the petition, according to CNN.
Obama is looking to the public for support in his aggressive plan to tackle gun violence this year, building on momentum of the public outcry following the particularly brutal mass shooting in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school that left 20 children dead. Petitions have become a popular way for the public to express opinions on the issue.
A petition asking Obama to "immediately address the issue of gun control through the introduction of legislation in Congress" was the fastest petition ever to reach the required signature threshold for an official White House response on the White House’s petition site "We the People" last month. According to the White House, gun violence quickly became one of the most popular petition issues since the launch of the site, where anyone can start a petition in hopes of reaching the ears of the president.
Obama, in his response to the petitions, urged the public to stay motivated and keep pushing for action against gun violence. He made similar comments in his presentation of a comprehensive plan on Wednesday, looking for the public to help amp up the pressure on Congress to act on a series of legislative requests.
"This will not happen unless the American people demand it," Obama said Wednesday.
"I will put everything I've got into this, and so will Joe," Obama said, referring to Vice President Biden, whom Obama appointed to lead a task force on gun control.
"But I tell you, the only way we can change is if the American people demand it. And by the way, that doesn’t just mean from certain parts of the country. We're going to need voices in those areas, in those congressional districts, where the tradition of gun ownership is strong to speak up and to say this is important.”
The page asking for email addresses and zip codes will likely serve a two-fold purpose to bolster Obama’s argument that a majority of Americans representing a wide swath of the country agree with his plan -- which includes legislation and 23 “executive actions” addressing guns, mental healthcare and violence in media -- and replenish his mailing list with known supporters.