Nightly News   |  January 08, 2013

Pros and cons of gun control

The debate over the nation’s gun laws has escalated since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre that left 26 children dead. Now, former congresswoman Gabby Giffords – who was shot in the head in Arizona – is launching a new effort to curb gun violence. But many Americans remain passionate about the Second Amendment. NBC’s Ron Mott reports.

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>>> now we turn to gun control and our post newtown era. the white house is gearing up for a fight on this issue, announcing today they will meet with representatives of the nra later this week. nba's ron mott covering this story for us.

>> reporter: two years ago today 9-year-old christina-taylor green was the youngest shot in a grocery store. in a new campaign her mother is pleading for new gun laws .

>> when will you find the courage to stand up to the gun lobby ?

>> reporter: her questions are part of a growing chorus around the country for gun prevention. today, calls for action were joined by a new voice, former congresswoman gabrielle giffords who was shot in the head in the arizona spree, launching an effort to curb gun violence .

>> gabby and i are both gun owners . we are strong supporters of the second mpd but we've got to do something from getting the guns into the wrong hands. hands.

>> reporter: a gallup poll taken after newtown says more americans favor tougher rules on gun sales up 15 points from 2011 and nearly two-thirds, 62% say it's time to ban high capacity ammunition magazines, the kinds often used in mass killings. all of this talk of gun restrictions meant banged up business at second amendment sports in tucson.

>> because of the word banned on the political side we're seeing more of that fear purchasing.

>> reporter: andy stopped in to buy his wife a handgun.

>> people are going to be passionate about their weapons and the second amendment.

>> reporter: the white house is preparing its strategy to address gun violence which is expected to include a push for background checks on almost all gun purchases, reinstatement of the assault weapons ban and stronger penalties for gun traffickers. among the groups invited to meet, the national rifle association .

>> you want one more law on top of 20,000 laws, when most of the federal gun laws we don't even enforce.

>> we have to just keep the talk going.

>> reporter: sarah brady , who led the fight for handgun control after the 1981 assassination attempt against president reagan left her husband paralyzed hope this amounts to more than just talk.

>> we cannot have a long conversation about this. we've got to have action and we've got to have action quickly or it will fade.

>> nbc news learned family members and victims of the newtown , connecticut, tragedy, will soon announce they, too, have formed a new organization, brian, they want to be part of this ongoing dialogue.

>> this issue is still top of mind. ron mott with