And so it begins
President Obama has been a long time supporter of reigning in assault weapons. No one really disputes this. In 1996 and 1998, he filled out questionnaires in which he asserted this. In a debate with Alan Keyes in 2004, he further vocalized this support.
In response to the Tuscon, Arizona shooting that injured Congresswoman Giffords, President Obama wrote an op-ed addressing firearms. In that op-ed, he stated that it was wrong that someone who was rejected for service by the military and rejected for education from colleges could obtain firearms. He then went on to state that firearms should be addressed in three steps which he outlined, but never pushed for legislation to accomplish.
The first step in President Obama's plan to was furhter ensure that laws already on the books were enforced. Second, gun sellers must be able to access background checks so that they cannot sell weapons to those with criminal records or mental instability. Finally, the President stated that States that do a better job of acquiring data on weapons owners should be rewarded by the federal government as they are doing a better job of protecting their citizens.
Now, in the wake of the shooting in Aurora, Colorado President Obama has begun to establish the case for preventing the sale of assault weapons. Specifically, the President stated at a campaign speech in New Orleans:
I, like most Americans, believe that the Second Amendment guarantees the individual the right to bear arms. That we recognize the traditions of gun ownership that have been passed on from generation to generation. That hunting and shooting are part of a ... cherished national heritage. But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers and not in the hands of criminals. that they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities.
While it is no big secret that the President has been pushing for the Senate to pass a treaty with the UN that would require gun registration, that treaty has no chance whatsoever of passing and isn't even likely to be brought up for a vote. It isn't clear if the President intends to make concrete moves to address assault weapons or this is merely campaigning. His entire record on the second amendment can be seen here.