WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — President Barack Obama emphasized the need for more background checks for gun buyers in his State of the Union address, saying that overwhelming majorities of Americans favor the proposal as a way to keep firearms from criminals.
“This time it’s different,” Obama said over the debate about gun control.
Obama said Tuesday night that senators from both parties are working on legislation to prevent people from legally buying guns and then giving them to criminals.
He said police chiefs want lawmakers to ban “weapons of war” and magazines carrying large amounts of ammunition so law enforcement officers won’t be outgunned.
Obama talked about the murder of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, the Chicago honor roll student who was gunned down a week after performing at the president’s inauguration.
Pendleton’s parents were in attendance when Obama said it’s time for Congress to vote on gun control laws.
“They deserve a vote,” Obama said. “Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote. … They deserve a simple vote.”
The president proposed all those ideas after the December killings of 20 first-graders in Connecticut. But expanded background checks is the only one he described as having vast support — a description that matches public polling and reflects congressional sentiment too.
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