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Obama Unveiling Plans On Reducing Gun Violence

Photo caption:

Photo by Mandel Ngan

President Obama at the White House today, with Vice President Biden in the background.

At a White House event with children who wrote him letters after the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn., President Obama is today announcing what he will do -- and wants to see done by Congress -- to reduce gun violence.

The steps he's taking, as expected, include calling on Congress to pass legislation banning "military-style assault weapons" and expanding background checks for gun buyers. He's also announcing more than 20 executive actions -- such as "legal barriers in health laws that prevent some states from making information available about those prohibited from having guns" -- that don't require Congressional action.

We'll update this post as the White House event happens. It's scheduled to begin at 11:55 a.m. ET. Hit your "refresh" button to see our latest additions.

The White House is streaming the event here.

Update at 12:07 p.m. ET. Universal Background Checks, Ban On Assault Weapons And 10-Round Limit On Magazines:

The president calls on Congress to pass legislation that resurrects the expired ban on sale of assault weapons, puts a 10-round limit on ammunition magazines and creates a system of "universal background checks" -- closing the so-called gun show loophole. "You should at least have to show you are not a felon or somebody legally prohibited from buying" a gun, he says.

Update at 12:04 p.m. ET. The Executive Actions:

The president begins to talk of the 23 executive actions he's taking today. They include support for schools that want to hire "resource officers" and develop emergency plans. And he's telling the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study the causes of gun violence.

Update at 12:02 p.m. ET. "We Can't Put This Off Any Longer":

Saying that "every day we wait," more Americans will be killed in gun-related incidents, the president says "we can't put this off any longer."

Update at 11:54 a.m. ET. "20 Beautiful First Graders":

Biden begins with words about those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and he thanks the family members who have come to the White House today for the announcement.

Those killed at the school were "20 beautiful first graders gunned down in a place that's supposed to be their second sanctuary," Biden says, and six adults who were trying to protect them.

The nation, he adds, has a "moral obligation" to do what can be done to prevent another such attack.

Update at 11:51 a.m. ET: The White House Event Has Begun.

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