President Obama pushes for plans to curb gun violence in America

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - President Barack Obama pressed for a ban on military-style firearms and for universal background checks for gun buyers.  He took his case directly to the public amid divisions over the proposals in Congress.

He flew to Minneapolis Monday to visit the police department's Special Operations Center.

It was his first trip outside Washington to campaign for his controversial gun measures.

The White House said Obama remains committed to the assault weapons ban, despite opposition in Congress.

Obama said the measures to limit access to some weapons or to require a check of criminal histories during
weapons purchases are common sense measures that have support of the public.

The White House picked Minneapolis as the backdrop for Obama's remarks in part because of recent steps the city has taken to tackle gun violence, including a push for stricter background checks.

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