Washington Daybook: Assault Weapons Ban

Photograph by Julie Jacobson/AP Photo

A convention attendee looks through a display of Sig Sauer semiautomatic rifles during the 35th annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas. The National Shooting Sports Foundation was focusing its trade show on products and services new to what it calls a $4.1 billion industry.

Written by Jim O’Connell

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden unveil plans to ban sales of assault weapons and strengthen background checks for gun buyers. They will be joined at the White House by children who wrote to them expressing concerns after the school shooting in Connecticut last month. The recommendations face opposition in Congress, especially in the Republican-controlled House.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will reveal today that he plans to step down from his post in March, according to the Denver Post.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta arrives in Rome as part of a week-long European tour. The son of Italian immigrants meets Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican today.

All Nippon and Japan Airways grounded all their Dreamliner jets today after passengers of one of the Boeing-made planes were forced to evacuate down chutes because pilots smelled smoke and made an emergency landing. A battery caught fire on a Japan Airways Dreamliner in Boston last week, prompting U.S. regulators to review the aircraft’s design.

Cary O’Reilly contributed to this report.

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