President Obama: Consensus For More Checks For Gun Buyers

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Vice President Joe Biden applauds as President Barack Obama gives his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol on Feb. 12, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (credit: Charles Dharapak-Pool/Getty Images)

Vice President Joe Biden applauds as President Barack Obama gives his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol on Feb. 12, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (credit: Charles Dharapak-Pool/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is emphasizing 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.

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.

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.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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