Vice President Joe Biden is expected to announce sweeping policy changes to gun laws and mental health care on Tuesday — two weeks earlier than expected.
The recommendations, at the request of President Barack Obama, are a response to the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that claimed the life of 20 first-graders and six educators.
According to a report by the Huffington Post, Biden's proposals are likely to address the availability and access to certain types of guns and ammunition and tackle the issue of data collection and background checks.
While Connecticut State Police continue their investigation into the Newtown shooting, authorities have identified a 20-year-old man, Adam Lanza, as the shooter. Police said Lanza, who reportedly had some mental health issues and/or social disorder, killed his mother, Nancy, at their Newtown home before shooting his way into the nearby school.
Lanza, who was armed with an assault rifle, among other guns—all legally owned by his mother—ultimately took his own life, police said.
Biden's Remarks, NRA Responds
Biden announced Thursday—a day that saw another school shooting—that he would deliver his proposal on Tuesday, Jan. 15. In his address to the press corps, the Huffington Post quoted him as saying:
"So far [there has been] a surprising recurrence of suggestions that we have universal background checks. Not just closing the gun show loophole, but have total universal background checks including in private sales."
A blog on the vice president's website reports that, in coming up with his proposals, Biden has met and talked with elected officials at all levels of government, wildlife and sporting groups, gun control advocates and gun rights proponents, including the National Rifle Association (NRA).
In response to Thursday's announcement by the vice president, the NRA released a statement that said, in part:
"We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment. While claiming that no policy proposals would be “prejudged,” this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners—honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans."
"It is unfortunate that this Administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation's most pressing problems," the statement continued. "We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen. Instead, we will now take our commitment and meaningful contributions to members of congress of both parties who are interested in having an honest conversation about what works—and what does not."