U.S. President Barack Obama urges people who defend the easy accessibility of assault weapons to meet the families of shooting victims. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) After meeting survivors and families of victims killed in the mass shooting in Orlando, President Barack Obama on Thursday (June 16) urged people to support the restriction of access to dangerous assault weapons. Campaigners have been pressing Congress to restrict access since the Newtown shooting in December 2012 during which a gunman killed 20 young children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School. But in the aftermath of Sunday's (June 12) rampage in which a U.S.-born gunman claiming allegiance to various Islamist militant groups killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, the Senate is moving towards a vote on two modest gun control laws next week, even if they fail to pass. Republican lawmakers in the U.S. Senate had blocked gun control measures, saying they infringed on the right to bear arms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Congress has not passed major gun control legislation since 1994. On Thursday (June 16), the Senate moved close to a vote on two bills favoured by Democrats that would expand background checks for buyers and block individuals on U.S. terrorism watch lists from purchasing firearms. About 71 percent of Americans, including eight out of 10 Democrats and nearly six out of 10 Republicans, favour at least moderate regulations and restrictions on guns, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted from Monday to Thursday. That was up from 60 percent in late 2013 and late 2014.