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Obama's gun plans spark little enthusiasm with key lawmakers

 

Updated at 4:48 p.m. — There was no great rush on Tuesday by lawmakers to embrace the new measures proposed by President Barack Obama to rein in gun violence.

As Obama unveiled a series of proposals — which include stricter regulations on guns — key lawmakers were noncommittal or openly skeptical of the president's new plan.

"House committees of jurisdiction will review these recommendations," said a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "And if the Senate passes a bill, we will also take a look at that."

Related: Obama unveils sweeping new gun control proposals

Obama proposed a variety of new measures, including universal background checks on firearms purchases, limits on the capacity of ammunition magazines as well as a ban on assault weapons, as part of a broader, more comprehensive effort to curb gun violence. The proposals were generated by a task force led by Vice President Joe Biden, and prompted by the massacre last month at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

In his remarks detailing the proposals, Obama acknowledged the heavy political lift involved in achieving legislation to address these issues.

"I will put all I can into this, and so will Joe," he said, the vice president by his side. "But the only way we can change is if the American people demand it."

However, essential to advancing legislation will be Republicans who run the House of Representatives, as well as a series of moderate Democrats from gun-friendly states who might fear recrimination from the National Rife Association, the influential gun rights lobby.

Already, the NRA has signaled its willingness to engage in hardball tactics, releasing an ad Tuesday labeling Obama a "hypocrite" for allowing Secret Service protection for his daughters while denying the NRA's proposal to put an armed guard in every school in America.

Related: White House calls NRA 'repugnant,' 'cowardly' for invoking president's children in ad

And while most Democrats released generally supportive statements of Obama's new gun proposals, many centrist Democratic lawmakers were mum following the announcement.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, D, a key centrist whose support could be indicative of the Obama plan's fortunes, said he would "weigh each recommendation carefully."

"However, I am disappointed that the president did not recommend the creation of the national commission on mass violence that I have proposed," Manchin said in a statement.

Republicans were either noncommittal, or openly hostile to Obama's proposals.

"House Republicans welcome the recommendations of this task force and will consider them as the House continues to examine ways to prevent tragedies like the one in Newtown," said Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the Republican who chairs the House Judiciary Committee — the panel that would consider new gun laws.

"However, good intentions do not necessarily make good laws, so as we investigate the causes and search for solutions, we must ensure that any proposed solutions will actually be meaningful in preventing the taking of innocent life and that they do not trample on the rights of law-abiding citizens to exercise their Constitutionally-guaranteed rights," Goodlatte added.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a high-profile Republican, dismissed Obama's plan.

"President Obama is targeting the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens instead of seriously addressing the real underlying causes of such violence," he said in a statement.

Said Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a Kansas conservative: "The right to bear arms is a right, despite President Obama's disdain for the Second Amendment and the Constitution's limits on his power."