Nightly News   |  January 06, 2013

Gun control debate heats up

Gun control continues to rile both sides, with gun collectors holding a show near Newtown, Conn., and with the launch of Vice President Joe Biden’s gun-violence task force. NBC’s Mark Potter reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> thanks. in addition to the battles over the debt ceiling and cabinet nominations you the president has a lot more on his plate in the coming weeks, including a fight over guns after the tragedy in newtown . and there's word tonight about what the obama administration is planning to do. we get our report from nbc 's mark potter .

>> reporter: in aurora, colorado, scene of last year's movie house massacre, officials say a gunman killed three people in a home before firing at police.

>> the suspect was hit and he has been pronounced dead.

>> reporter: this as lawmakers call for more action.

>> we will not have as the new normal a mass shooting every month.

>> reporter: gun shows near orlando and atlanta drew huge crowds this weekend, but the decision to hold a gun collector's show near newtown , connecticut, where the school shootings occurred drew mixed reactions.

>> it seems insensitive of the event continue.

>> i believe that they should have the gun show .

>> reporter: later this month, vice president biden's gun task force formed in response to the newtown shootings is expected to give its recommendation, which could involve much more than just a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity clips. the " washington post " reports the group could also include stiffer penalties for carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors, track gun movement and sales and strengthen mental health and background investigations.

>> the more constructive conversation is going to be around background checks and what we can do to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people .

>> reporter: the report also claims the white house maybe looking for ways to work around the nra but in nbc 's "meet the press" today, republican senate leader mitch mcconnell said guns are not an immediate priority.

>> plenty of time to take a look at their recommendations once they come forward. the -- what's going to nominate washington for the next three months here is going to be spending and debt.

>> reporter: president obama though has promised that gun violence is an issue he will not put off. mark potter , nbc news, miami.