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The Boston Globe

Nation

Assault weapons ban seen as hard to enact

WASHINGTON — While President Obama pledged to crack down on access to what he called ‘‘weapons of war’’ in the aftermath of last month’s schoolhouse massacre, the White House has calculated that a ban on military-style assault weapons will be exceedingly difficult to pass through Congress and is focusing on other measures it deems more politically achievable.

As a task force led by Vice President Joe Biden readies recommendations on reducing gun violence for delivery to the president next week, White House officials said a new ban will be an element of whatever final package is proposed. But given the entrenched opposition from gun rights groups and their advocates on Capitol Hill, the White House is trying to avoid making its passage the sole definition of success and is emphasizing other new gun rules that could conceivably win bipartisan support and reduce gun deaths.

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