Obama stands firm on gun control despite long odds

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MINNEAPOLIS — President Barack Obama declared Monday on his first trip outside Washington to promote gun control that a consensus is emerging for universal background checks for purchasers, although he conceded a tough road lay ahead to pass an assault weapons ban over formidable opposition in Congress.

“We should restore the ban on military-style assault weapons and a 10-round limit for magazines,” Obama said in a brief speech, standing firm on his full package of gun-control measures despite long odds. Such a ban “deserves a vote in Congress because weapons of war have no place on our streets or in our schools or threatening our law enforcement officers.”

The president spoke from a special police operations center in a city once known to some as “Murderapolis” but where gun violence has dropped amid a push to address it from city leaders. Officers stood behind him, dressed in crisp uniforms of blue, white and brown.

The site conveyed Obama’s message that a reduction in violence can be achieved nationally, even if Americans have sharp disagreements over gun control. That includes among members of his own party in Washington.

Suggesting he won’t get all he’s proposing, Obama said, “We don’t have to agree on everything to agree it’s time to do something.”