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Liberal think tank vows national campaign to push for more gun control

The president of the Center for American Progress said Sunday the influential liberal think tank will mount a full-scale campaign to push for more gun control.

Neera Tanden told “Fox News Sunday” the Center for American Progress will “absolutely” launch a major campaign in states across the country.

Tanden also downplayed the fact that groups supporting more gun control were severely outspent during the 2012 election cycle in which the influential National Rifle Association spent $20 million in backing candidates.

“They had a really low return on their investment,” Tanden told Fox. “But of course the NRA is a very strong lobby.”

Tanden spoke after a report published by The Washington Post stated the group is recommending 13 new gun policies to the White House, including some that call for executive action that sidesteps congressional approval.

The proposals include requiring universal background checks, banning military-grade assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips and updating data systems to track gun sales and enforce existing laws, according to The Washington Post, which said the proposals “amount to the progressive community's wish list.”

Tanden said the idea of executive action would be on some of the smaller issues, such as federal employees giving gun-ownership information to the president.

She also argues that both sides can find common ground on tougher background checks.

Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, disagreed with that notion.

He argued that stolen guns were used in the fatal shootings last month at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in which 20 first-graders and six adults were killed.

He called the ideas a “waste of time” and argued Washington should focus on ending gun-freeze zones because people who live within them cannot protect themselves.

President Obama has already expressed support for many of the group’s proposals.  

And Vice President Joe Biden is leading a task force on possible changes to the gun laws. After speaking with groups on both sides, Biden purportedly could give the recommendations to the president as early as this week.

The Center for American Progress’ 11-page report was presented Friday to White House officials, according to The Post.