21 Dec 2012

Obama calls for rapid proposals on gun laws

12:49 pm on 21 December 2012

US president Barack Obama has announced Vice-President Joe Biden will lead an attempt to try to reform American gun laws.

The question of gun control has been hotly debated in the US since the mass shooting last week at a Connecticut school by a 20-year-old with a military-style firearm.

Mr Obama said he has asked Mr Biden and a working group to come up with proposals no later than January.

The president said most Americans favour a ban on the sale of military-style assault weapons and limits on high-capacity ammunition clips, and want robust background checks on buyers of guns

He urged Congress to hold votes on those issues when it reconvenes in the new year.

A ban on assault weapons lapsed under President George W Bush in 2004.

Mr Obama has previously stated his support for a reintroduction without backing a specific move to do so before now.