AirTalk for December 19, 2012

Obama launches task force to crack down on gun violence as states rethink local gun laws

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Win McNamee/Getty Images

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) announces the creation of an interagency task force for guns as Vice President Joseph Biden listens in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on December 19, 2012 in Washington, DC. President Obama announced that he is making an administration-wide effort to solve gun violence and has tapped Vice President Joe Biden to lead an interagency task force in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

President Barack Obama vowed Wednesday to take direct action against gun violence, as he launched a panel led by Vice President Joe Biden aimed at promptly determining tactics for preventing mass shootings like the one in Newtown, Connecticut.

The new task force is expected to produce “concrete proposals” by January that Obama said he “intend[s] to push without delay.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also announced a task force of her own on Wednesday that would be led by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) and would also focus on reducing gun violence.

Lawmakers in California are also jumping into action to improve gun control laws after the Newtown massacre, including state senators Leland Yee and Kevin de Leon. Yee on Tuesday introduced a bill that would, among other safety precautions, prohibit gun owners from using devices known as “bullet buttons” or “mag magnets,” which allow semi-automatic weapons to be easily reloaded with multiple rounds of ammunition. De Leon, a Democrat from Los Angeles, affirmed he would introduce a proposal this week requiring ammunition buyers to get permits issued by the United States Department of Justice.

How effective will these new efforts to prevent gun violence be? Are the renewed calls for stricter gun regulations just rhetoric or will they really lead to concrete results?

Guests:

Kitty Felde, KPCC’s Washington D.C. correspondent

Leland Yee, California Democratic State Senator representing California’s 8th District, including half of San Francisco and most of San Mateo County

Kevin de Leon, California Democratic State Senator representing California's 22nd Senate District, which includes Los Angeles, Alhambra, East Los Angeles, Florence-Graham, Maywood, San Marino, South Pasadena, Vernon, and Walnut Park

Sam Paredes
, a member of the Board of Directors, Gun Owners of California


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