A petition urging the Obama administration to “produce legislation that limits access to guns” has more than 25,000 signatures just hours after its inception.
“The goal of this petition is to force the Obama Administration to produce legislation that limits access to guns,” it reads in part. “While a national dialogue is critical, laws are the only means in which we can reduce the number of people murdered in gun related deaths.”
A petition on the White House's “We the People” website needs 25,000 signatures in the first month of being posted to earn an official White House response. The gun control petition – initiated in the wake of the Connecticut elementary school massacre on Friday - reached that threshold in a few hours.
“Powerful lobbying groups allow the ownership of guns to reach beyond the Constitution's intended purpose of the right to bear arms,” the petition continues. “Therefore, Congress must act on what is stated law, and face the reality that access to firearms reaches beyond what the Second Amendment intends to achieve.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney declined to answer questions about gun control at a press conference Friday, saying today was not the day to have that discussion. He emphasized that the White House was awaiting more information from Connecticut.
But the Obama administratin is hearing from some in their own party who are demanding immediate action. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) shot back at the White House's claim that it was too soon to start a discussion on gun control, saying he was “challenging President Obama, the Congress, and the American public to act on our outrage and, finally, do something about this.”
At a press conference, President Obama said meaningful action should be taken to prevent future shooting tragedies.
The president said "it is time to take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics," an indication that Obama could be prepared to confront gun control.
Responding to Obama's press conference, Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said his organization was encouraged by Obama's comments.
"We were moved by President Obama's raw emotion during his remarks today," Gross said. "We are committed to working with him to channel it into the change that is too long overdue."
In 2010 the Brady campaign gave Obama a failing grade on pushing for stricter gun laws.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) responded that Obama needs to do more than call for action.
"Calling for ‘meaningful action’ is not enough. We need immediate action. We have heard all the rhetoric before," Bloomberg said in a statement. "What we have not seen is leadership – not from the White House and not from Congress. That must end today. This is a national tragedy and it demands a national response. My deepest sympathies are with the families of all those affected, and my determination to stop this madness is stronger than ever."
In addition, a group that identified itself as "people affected by gun violence — parents, family, friends," organized a demonstration late Friday outside the White House to tell the president "today is the day" to discuss gun control.