By Joseph Ax
NEW YORK, Jan 25 (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Eric
Holder on Friday gave a forceful defense of the Obama
administration's efforts to institute gun control measures
following last month's mass school shooting in Newtown,
Connecticut, saying that partisan gridlock must not prevent
"We are bound and determined to do this," he said in a
speech at the District Attorneys Association of the State of New
York's winter conference in Manhattan. "This is not a time for
Gun violence has dominated national policy debate since the
mid-December shooting in which Adam Lanza, 20, shot dead his
mother and then killed 20 first-graders and six adults at an
Earlier this month, New York became the first state to enact
tougher gun laws following the Dec. 14 shooting, limiting
magazine capacity and extending its ban on assault weapons.
Holder worked closely with advocates, experts and
policymakers to help Vice President Joe Biden come up with a set
of legislative proposals that would limit high-capacity
magazines, reinstate the expired ban on assault weapons and
require universal background checks for all gun sales.
In addition to those bills, President Barack Obama signed a
series of executive orders that bolster the system for
background checks and lifted the ban on federal research on gun
violence, among other changes.
Some gun-rights advocates have accused the administration of
attacking the Second Amendment right to bear arms, a criticism
"All of the president's actions have been consistent with
the historical use of executive power -- and none will impinge
on the Second Amendment rights of responsible, law-abiding
citizens and gun owners," he said.
The gun control measures face sharp opposition from the
powerful National Rifle Association, and their fate in Congress
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