5 Things To Know Today

Biden Meets With Gun-Safety, Victims Groups To Push New Legislation

Vice President Biden is kicking off a round of gun-control meetings with a sit-down Wednesday at the White House with gun-safety and victims groups, as the administration prepares to push new legislation in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting, Fox News reports.  Wednesday’s meeting is to be part of a series of gatherings Biden is conducting this week at the White House, aimed at building consensus around proposals to curb gun violence. The administration says mental health and the entertainment industry will likely be examined as part of that process. Biden has also scheduled a meeting with representatives from the entertainment and video game industries. But much of the discussion, and proposals from Democratic members of Congress, continue to center around gun control. The meeting Wednesday with gun safety groups will likely focus on those kinds of proposals. The vice president will hear from the other side of the gun-control debate Thursday, when the National Rifle Association meets face to face with his task force in what could be a testy session.

California Introduces Bullet Bill

California assemblywoman introduced a bill on Monday that aims to regulate ammunition sales, reports The Daily Journal. The measure, AB48, would establish restrictions similar to those covering gun sales, including requiring sellers to be licensed and buyers to have and show valid identification.  “When we have so many safeguards in place around the purchase of guns, why is it so much easier to buy bullets, the things that make guns deadly?” Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner asked as she unveiled the measure during a news conference outside her office in Oakland. “Today, it is easier in California to buy bullets than it is to buy alcohol, cigarettes or Sudafed cold medicine. We’ve had enough,” she said. Joined by a coalition of lawmakers, law enforcement officials and community leaders, Skinner, D-Berkeley, said the bill she introduced late last month and co-authored with Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, would also ban clip kits that can convert guns into assault weapons. Saying more than 2,000 Californians were killed by gunfire last year, Skinner said the bill would “bulletproof our communities.” It would also require ammunition sellers to report all sales to the Department of Justice, which would create a registry of purchases to be available for use by law enforcement. In addition, the Justice Department would also notify local authorities of any large ammunition purchases made in a short period of time.

Illinois Approves Undocumented Immigrant Driver’s Licenses

llinois lawmakers approved a new measure Tuesday that would allow undocumented immigrants to get temporary driver’s licenses, CNN reports. Gov. Pat Quinn has pledged to sign the bill, saying in a statement that it will make the state’s roads safer. The bill, which the state’s House of Representatives approved 65-46 on Tuesday, says immigrants can apply for the temporary licenses — good for three years — if they have lived in the state for more than a year. The driver’s licenses cannot be used as identification to buy weapons or board airplanes, officials have said. The state’s Senate approved the bill in a 41-14 vote last month. Immigrant rights advocates praised the move. But opponents of the measure raised concerns about fraud and said the proposed law didn’t go far enough to resolves the state’s immigration problems. Quinn said he was looking forward to signing the bill, arguing that motorists will save millions in insurance premiums and the measure will “empower more immigrants to become stronger contributors to our economy.”New Mexico and Washington also allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. Utah issues driving privilege cards to undocumented immigrants who have lived in the state for more than six months.

AIG Board Weighs Suing US Over Bailout

AIG is considering Wednesday whether the company should join a lawsuit against the government that spent $182 billion to save it from collapse. American International Group Inc. said its board of directors will weigh whether to take part in a shareholder lawsuit against the U.S. over the government’s $182 billion bailout of the New York-based insurer. If AIG decides to join the complaint, which seeks $25 billion in damages, it would pit the company against the government that in 2008 kept it from buckling under the weight huge losses on mortgage-backed securities and other toxic assets. AIG said that after Wednesday’s meeting, its directors should have a decision by the end of the month. Starr International Co. Inc., the investment firm of former AIG CEO Maurice Greenberg, filed the lawsuit in November 2011 on behalf of the firm and AIG shareholders. The complaint, filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, says that the government didn’t provide shareholders fair compensation when it took a nearly 80 percent stake in the insurer as part of the bailout. In doing so, the government violated the Constitution, Starr claims.

New Anti-Muslim Ads Posted In NYC Subways

The American Freedom Defense Initiative purchased space next to 228 clocks in 39 stations for ads with an image of the burning World Trade Center and a quote attributed to the Quran saying, “Soon shall we cast terror into the hearts of the unbelievers.” The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said the ads went up Monday and will run for a month. The same group paid for ads to be displayed in 10 stations in September. Those ads implied enemies of Israel are “savages.” The MTA also sold space last year to competing advertisements that urged tolerance. The American Freedom Defense Initiative was co-founded by conservative firebrand Pamela Geller, reports CBS New York station WCBS-TV, which notes she spoke to CBS New York radio station WCBS in December about the earlier ads.




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