Biden Out of White House Gun Control Talks, Which Shift to State Focus


President Obama's behind-the-scenes plans for gun control go on without Vice President Biden, Politico reports. Biden, the White House's public face and private force behind the push for new gun control laws, and his chief of staff, Bruce Reed, are no longer involved in the long-term planning between the White House and major gun violence prevention groups. The vice president's disappearance from an issue he'd been spearheading is a signal of how much the focus has shifted from passing gun legislation in Congress to winning reforms in states and building local networks that can pressure and help elect members of Congress over the long term.

The background checks bill Obama championed isn't going to get another vote after falling short in April unless several senators publicly change their mind. Officials from the White House Office of Public Engagement, which reports to Obama aide Valerie Jarrett, are now carrying the administration's gun control efforts. That office holds a regular meeting with the major gun control groups known as the Gun Violence Table. The weekly sessions often include representatives from Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Moms Demand Action, the Center for American Progress, Organizing for Action and Americans for Responsible Solutions. The groups are coordinating a November lobbying effort and planning events to commemorate the first anniversary of the Newtown, Conn., massacre last December.

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