Update, 12:45 p.m.: The National Rifle Association (NRA) issued the following statement in response to President Obama's proposals:
Throughout its history, the National Rifle Association has led efforts to promote safety and responsible gun ownership. Keeping our children and society safe remains our top priority.
The NRA will continue to focus on keeping our children safe and securing our schools, fixing our broken mental health system, and prosecuting violent criminals to the fullest extent of the law. We look forward to working with Congress on a bi-partisan basis to find real solutions to protecting America’s most valuable asset – our children.
Attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis we face as a nation. Only honest, law-abiding gun owners will be affected and our children will remain vulnerable to the inevitability of more tragedy.
President Obama announced Wednesday he will ask Congress to pass legislation requiring universal background checks for anyone attempting to buy a gun, restore a ban on military-style assault weapons, and limit magazines to seven bullets.
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Obama also said he will sign 23 executive orders to enhance background checks, give mental health professionals more options for reporting threats of violence, and providing additional funds to schools to hire resource officers.
Repeatedly mentioning mass shootings in Newtown, CT; Clackamas, OR; and Aurora, CO, Obama said significant enhancements in gun control will come only if people from all parts of the country—including current gun owners—support the changes.
"We have to examine ourselves and our hearts, and ask ourselves, what is important?" he said. "This will not happen unless the American people demand it.”