NRA will participate in White House gun violence meetings
Biden leading gun violence task force in response to Newtown shooting
A representative of the National Rifle Association will participate in a meeting this week with Vice President Joe Biden's gun violence task force, a spokesman for the gun lobbyist said on Tuesday.
Spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said the group received an invitation on late Friday to participate and that "We are sending a rep to hear what they have to say." The NRA said James J. Baker, the director of federal relations for NRA's Institute of Legislative Action, would be representing the group at the White House.
Another major gun rights group, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), will also participate in the meetings, which are slated for Wednesday and Thursday. The NSSF is based in Newtown, Connecticut, the site of last month's deadly shooting at an elementary school that sparked the creation of Biden's panel.
The NSSF said it welcomed the opportunity to become part of a "full national conversation" to protect children and communities from violence.
Days after the massacre in Newtown, President Barack Obama appointed Biden to lead the panel that will provide recommendations to prevent another mass shooting. The president gave the group a deadline of "no later than January."
Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, said Tuesday that Biden's panel was "engaging a variety of stakeholders - organizations and individuals -- to look broadly at the problem of gun violence in America and to consider actions that could be taken at legislative level and elsewhere."
While Obama himself said during an interview on "Meet the Press" that he was skeptical of the NRA's proposal to put armed guards in schools, Carney said the president "doesn't want to prejudge any recommendations that any stakeholder may present."
A senior administration official said Tuesday that Biden would hold meetings this week with victims' advocacy groups and gun safety organizations, as well as with groups representing gun owners. The official added the vice president would meet with representatives of the entertainment and video game industries.
Those meetings will result in a package of recommendations to be presented to Obama, the official said. The president will then announce which of those proposals he'll push.
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