Reaction to President Barack Obama proposals for curbing gun violence.

National Rifle Association statement

Throughout its history, the National Rifle Association has led efforts to promote safety and responsible gun ownership.  Keeping our children and society safe remains our top priority.

The NRA will continue to focus on keeping our children safe and securing our schools, fixing our broken mental health system, and prosecuting violent criminals to the fullest extent of the law.  We look forward to working with Congress on a bi-partisan basis to find real solutions to protecting America’s most valuable asset – our children.

Attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis we face as a nation.  Only honest, law-abiding gun owners will be affected and our children will remain vulnerable to the inevitability of more tragedy.

Senator Frank Lautenberg (D)

Jeff Fusco, Getty Images

“I applaud President Obama for putting forward a bold, comprehensive plan to address gun violence in our nation that includes my common-sense proposals to ban high-capacity magazines and require background checks for all guns sold at gun shows. With the President’s recommendations now on the table, we will get to work in Congress to pass my high-capacity magazine ban and other measures that can protect children and families from gun violence,” said Senator Lautenberg. “Reasonable reforms like a ban on high-capacity magazines would save innocent lives and help reduce tragedies like Newtown, Aurora, Tucson, Virginia Tech, and so many others. Stronger background checks, including thorough reviews of all purchases at gun shows, need to be standard practice to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. These are reforms that the vast majority of the American public supports and the time has come to make them the law of the land.”

Senator Robert Menendez (D)

“I applaud President Obama’s bold leadership in putting forth a package of common sense gun safety measures to help reduce the scourge of gun violence and protect our communities and children,” said Senator Menendez. “For too long, members of Congress have turned their backs on measures to prevent gun violence as the NRA turned up the heat to protect gun manufacturers. This time must be different. These actions are the right thing to do to protect our communities and our children and I stand ready to work with my colleagues to immediately move the President’s agenda forward.”

Rep. Bill Pascrell(D)

Rep.Bill Pascrell (D) (Facebook)

“As a former city Mayor I know how tough this battle against illegal guns is, but it is a battle that must be won.  I applaud Vice President Biden for his work to identify areas where we can work to reduce gun violence in this country.  I have supported and fought for similar measures my entire public life as a mayor, as a State legislator and now in Congress.  These are commonsense actions that we can be taking right now to strengthen our background check system and enforce our existing gun laws more aggressively.  The time to simply talk about keeping our communities safe is over.  We need to take meaningful action immediately in order to prevent another senseless large scale act of violence, as well as reduce the daily tragedies that gun violence inflicts on our communities. I urge Congress to implement the Administration’s recommendations as soon as possible.

"For the past three years, as co-Chair of the House Law Enforcement Caucus, I have led the effort to save the COPS Hiring grant program from elimination. I am very pleased to see the President include increased funding for this program to add more police on our streets as one of his priorities for reducing gun violence.  I will be actively working to include this funding during the FY2013 Appropriations process and expect bipartisan support for this effort. Our brave men and women in uniform put their lives on the line daily keeping our communities safe, and I refuse to let them be in a position of being outmanned or outgunned.

"I will also continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to keep military style assault weapons off our streets and ensure that every gun purchaser undergoes a background check.  These steps will undoubtedly save lives and make our communities safer places to live."

Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic)

"President Obama’s plan is common sense, and I am hopeful Congress will do what’s right and approve this package. We’ve mourned far too often to stand idle at this moment in history.

“Whether it’s on the streets of our New Jersey communities, a movie theater in Colorado or a school in Connecticut, enough is enough. No more talk. It’s time to do something. President Obama’s proposal marks a significant step forward and should be approved, but we should not stop there.

“The Assembly is developing measures to curb gun violence and improve mental health services here in New Jersey, and will soon move forward with a plan. Many Assembly members have put forth outstanding ideas to tackle gun violence and mental health services, and we’ll be advancing a strong package to make our state a safer place.

“But we also have to enforce what’s already on the books, and that includes the Christie administration and its abject failure to fully implement the involuntary outpatient mental health treatment law I sponsored. Gov. Christie cannot call for a focus on mental health while simultaneously ignoring this law. This is a time for action, not double-speak.”

 Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington)

Assemblyman Lou Greenwald (NJ Assembly Democrats - Facebook)

“I want to thank the President and Vice President for stepping up to the plate to tackle what has eluded us for far too long.  This is a thoughtful proposal that respects second amendment rights while addressing the critical factors that lead to gun violence – assault weapons with high capacity ammunition, criminal background checks and mental health assistance.

“Unfortunately, the clarion call for action came at the tragic expense of 20 innocent children.  Newtown will forever be a scar on our nation’s heart.  We cannot let the lives of these 26 innocent people be lost in vain.  I hope Congress will see this as the moment when we finally say ‘enough’ and embrace the President’s proposal for the greater good of our nation.

“In the coming weeks, we intend to follow suit in New Jersey with a comprehensive package of bills put forth by many of our members to crack down on high capacity ammunition and institute an important mental health component.

“Gun violence transcends political parties, race, geography and socio-economic backgrounds.  The only way we can take back our communities and curb this epidemic once and for all is to do it together."

Vice President Joe Biden

"I have no illusions about what we're up against or how hard the task is in front of us. ... We should do as much as we can, as quickly as we can. And we cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

"I am committed to ensuring that the Senate will consider legislation that addresses gun violence and other aspects of violence in our society early this year." —

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla

Florida Senator Marco Rubio (Riccardo S. Savi/WireImage/Getty Images)

"Nothing the president is proposing would have stopped the massacre at Sandy Hook. ... Rather than sweeping measures that make it harder for responsible, law-abiding citizens to purchase firearms, we should focus on the root causes of gun violence and keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill."

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

"President Obama's series of gun control measures amount to an executive power grab that may please his political base but will not solve the problems at hand."

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly at press conference announcing arrest in Etan Patz case (WNBC TV)

"We know we're not going to eliminate all gun violence, but certainly diminish the possibility of having another Newtown. ... I believe all the major law enforcement organizations will support the administration. So this is a good day."

E. Patricia Llodra, first selectwoman of Newtown, Conn.

"I truly believe that the will of the people makes a difference, and I'm calling on everyone to have the courage to stand up and help us make that difference. We should never again visit a tragedy such as we had in Newtown, Conn. It's time for us to make a change." —

The Associated Press contributed to this story