Heitkamp: Reported WH Gun-Control Plan ‘Way in the Extreme’

Reported plan 'way in extreme of what I think is necessary or even should be talked about, and it’s not gonna pass'

• January 6, 2013 11:40 am


Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D., N.D.) called the reported White House plans for a massive gun control push to be "way in the extreme" in a Sunday interview with "This Week."

"I think you need to put everything on the table, but what I hear from the administration — and if the Washington Post is to be believed — that’s way — way in extreme of what I think is necessary or even should be talked about," she said. "And it’s not gonna pass."

The Washington Post reported Saturday that the White House is considering a gun control package far more wide-reaching than a reinstatement of the assault-weapons ban:

A working group led by Vice President Biden is seriously considering measures backed by key law enforcement leaders that would require universal background checks for firearm buyers, track the movement and sale of weapons through a national database, strengthen mental health checks, and stiffen penalties for carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors, the sources said.

To sell such changes, the White House is developing strategies to work around the National Rifle Association that one source said could include rallying support from Wal-Mart and other gun retailers for measures that would benefit their businesses. White House aides have also been in regular contact with advisers to New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I), an outspoken gun-control advocate who could emerge as a powerful surrogate for the Obama administration’s agenda.

The Biden group, formed last month after the massacre at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school that killed 20 children and six adults, plans to submit a package of recommendations to President Obama this month. Once Obama’s proposals are set, he plans to lead a public-relations offensive to generate popular support.