The White House is weighing sweeping gun control measures in the wake of the Newtown massacre which would go far beyond simply reinstating the lapsed Federal Assault Weapons Ban, the Washington Post reports.
An administration task force under the helm of Vice President Joe Biden is actively considering measures which would require universal background checks for firearm buyers and establish a national database to track the movement and sale of weapons.
The measures, which are supported by key law enforcement officials, would also bolster mental health checks for those seeking to buy arms and increase the penalties for carrying guns near school zones or providing them to minors, sources told the newspaper.
The potential changes are a response to the fatal shootings last month of 20 first-graders and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14. The Biden group, formed in the aftermath of the mass shooting, reportedly plans to submit recommendations to President Barack Obama next month.
The White House is attempting to hammer out a strategy to deal with stiff opposition for the powerful gun rights lobbyist the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Getting support from Walmart and other gun retailers via a series of financially beneficial measures will potentially be one means of outmaneuvering the NRA.
“Wal-Mart and other major gun retailers may have an incentive to support closing a loophole that allows people to bypass background checks if they purchase firearms at gun shows or through other types of private sales,” the Post cited a source who works with the Obama administration on gun issues as saying.