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The Globe and Mail

NRA invited to meet with Biden task force on gun violence

Wayne LaPierre, CEO and Executive Vice President, National Rifle Association, appears on "Meet the Press" in Washington D.C. in this December 23, 2012 handout photo.

William B. Plowman/NBC/Handout/Reuters

The most prominent U.S. gun lobby, the National Rifle Association, will send an official to meet Vice-President Joe Biden as he studies how to cut firearms violence, the White House said Tuesday.

The meeting, which will take place on Thursday, is part of Mr. Biden's dialogue with concerned parties as he draws up measures to hand to President Barack Obama in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. school shooting last year.

NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said that the group, which is opposed to Democratic calls for a reinstatement of an assault weapons ban, received an invitation from the White House on Friday.

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"We are sending a representative to hear what they have to say," he said.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the NRA was among a number of pro-gun and hunting groups that had been contacted to meet Mr. Biden's panel.

"I think as the president said, he doesn't want to prejudge any recommendations that any stakeholder might present," Mr. Carney said, though he noted that Mr. Obama opposed the NRA's idea for armed guards in American schools.

Mr. Biden will also meet campaigners against gun violence and victims groups this week as well as representatives of the entertainment and video game industry, amid complaints violent content also contributes to gun violence.

Obama cabinet members will also see parent, teacher and education groups this month along with mental health advocates.

With America grief-stricken by the shooting at Newtown last month, in which a gunman killed 20 small children and six adults, Mr. Obama tasked Mr. Biden with coming up with recommendations within a month.

"Soon after the conclusion of these meetings, the vice president will present his recommendations to the president, who then will announce a concrete package of proposals he intends to push without delay," a White House official said.

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