Newtown shootings: Obama 'backs assault weapons ban'

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US President Barack Obama wants to reinstate an assault weapons ban in the wake of the mass killings in Newtown, Connecticut, his spokesman says.

Jay Carney said the president was "actively supportive" of a Democratic senator's plan to introduce a bill on the first day of the next Congress.

The National Rifle Association of America has said it is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to prevent future shootings.

Mark Mardell reports from Newtown.

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