***UPDATE: LIVE STREAM ADDED***
I will post a live stream of the announcement here as soon as it becomes available. I believe the announcement is supposed to around noon, at 11:55AM ET.
Until then, here is what the AP is saying about the announcement:
Obama was to announce the measures Wednesday at a White House event that will bring together law enforcement officials, lawmakers and children who wrote the president about gun violence following last month’s shooting of 20 young students and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
The president also invited families of the Newtown victims and survivors of the horrific shooting to the White House Wednesday.
According to a lobbyist briefed Tuesday, Obama will present a three-part plan focused on gun violence, education and mental health. He’ll call for:
— A focus on universal background checks. Right now some 40 percent of gun sales take place without background checks, including by private sellers at gun shows or over the Internet, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
— A ban on assault weapons and limiting ammunition magazines to 10 rounds or fewer.
— A federal statute to stop “straw man” purchases of guns and crack down on trafficking rings.
— More anti-bullying efforts; more training for teachers, counselors and principals; and funding for schools for more counselors and resource officers.
Obama also will order federal agencies to conduct more research on gun use and crimes, the lobbyist said, something Republican congressional majorities have limited through language in budget bills.
On mental health, Obama will focus on more availability of mental health services, training more school counselors and mental health professionals, and mental health first aid training for first responders, according to the lobbyist, who was not authorized to discuss the plan publicly before the president’s announcement and requested anonymity.
The president’s framework is based on recommendations from Vice President Joe Biden, who led a wide-ranging task force on gun violence. The vice president’s proposals included 19 steps that could be achieved through executive action.
Obama also may order the Justice Department to crack down on people who lie on gun-sale background checks; only a tiny number are now prosecuted. Such a step has support from the NRA, which has consistently argued that existing laws must be enforced before new ones are considered.
And Obama may give schools flexibility to use grant money to improve safety. But he is not expected to call for armed guards in schools, a position promoted by the NRA.
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