President Obama met yesterday with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an ally of the White House on gun control, the Hill reports. The meeting occurred as Obama is weighing new executive action on guns in response to a series of mass shootings that have marred his presidency. Obama huddled with Bloomberg “as part of the administration’s continuing push to address gun violence in America,” the White House said. “The two discussed ways to keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have access to them and what more could be done at the state and local level to help address gun violence in America.”
Obama has met with a number of high-profile gun control advocates in recent weeks as the White House scrambles to finalize its new plans. Last week, Obama invited former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and her husband Mark Kelly to the White House to discuss the issue. Giffords, who survived a gunshot wound to the head during a 2011 shooting at an event in her district, now runs a political action committee to push for stronger gun laws. Bloomberg runs a similar organization, Everytown for Gun Safety. Facing opposition from Republicans in Congress, Obama is considering using his executive powers to broaden background check requirements for gun sellers. Such a move would draw criticism from gun rights groups and Republicans in Congress, who say Obama lacks the authority to expand background checks on his own.