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Biden Offers To Speak To Newtown Massacre Victims’ Families

Vice President Joseph Biden istens as President Barack Obama speaks during an announcement on gun reform at the White House December 19, 2012 in Washington, DC.(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Vice President Joseph Biden istens as President Barack Obama speaks during an announcement on gun reform at the White House December 19, 2012 in Washington, DC.(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Tragedy In Newtown

NEWTOWN, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Vice President Joe Biden has offered to talk with any families of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre who would like to speak with him personally, according to a Newtown, Conn., group.

Biden has been leading an administration review of gun safety laws following last month’s massacre of 20 children ages 6 and 7, and six women, at Sandy Hook Elementary.

The group, Sandy Hook Promise, has been working to help the families whose loved ones were killed in the Dec. 14 massacre. It said in an email to the families that it could arrange a call or put the families in touch directly with Biden’s office.

“If you choose to wait a few weeks, or months, the offer is still there,” the group wrote.

White House officials have said they are communicating with local groups and the families in Newtown.

“We remain in touch with families from Newtown and will present an opportunity for all of them to share their views before the president makes any decisions,” White House spokesman Matt Lehrich said.

White House officials have said the families will have an opportunity to share their views before President Barack Obama makes any decisions.

Sandy Hook Promise co-founder Tim Makris said it passed along Biden’s offer as part of its mission to aid the families.

The group, which recently changed its name from Newtown United, is holding a news conference on Monday to announce its own initiative in response to the shooting.

Biden said in the days following the massacre that he and President Barack Obama are “absolutely committed” to curbing gun violence in the United States.

“Even if we can only save one life, we have to take action,” he said on Dec. 20.

A longtime gun-control advocate, Biden met after the massacre with Cabinet members and law enforcement officials from around the country. He said he wanted to meet with the group, which included representatives of at least a dozen law enforcement organizations, because they “know better than anyone else what’s needed out there.”

A January deadline has been set for the recommendations. The group is considering changes such as reinstating a ban on military-style assault weapons, closing loopholes that let gun buyers skirt background checks and restricting high-capacity ammunition clips.

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