(Reuters ) - President Barack Obama proposed a new assault weapons ban and mandatory background checks for all gun buyers on Wednesday in a bid to channel national outrage over the Newtown school massacre into the biggest U.S. gun-control push in generations.
Obama's plan calls on Congress for a renewed prohibition on assault weapons sales that expired in 2004, a requirement for criminal background checks on all gun purchases, including closing a loophole for gun show sales, and a new federal gun trafficking law - long sought by big-city mayors to keep out-of-state guns off their streets.
He also announced 23 steps he intends to take immediately without congressional approval. These include improvements in the existing system for background checks, lifting the ban on federal research into gun violence, putting more counselors and "resource officers" in schools and improved access to mental health services.
The most politically contentious piece of the package is Obama's call for a renewed ban on military-style assault weapons, a move that Republicans who control the House of Representatives are expected to oppose.
Do you agree or disagree with his proposals? What would you suggest?