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TODAY   |  April 08, 2013

After gun laws pass, Obama heads to Connecticut

Just days after Connecticut lawmakers passed some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, President Obama heads to the state and the U.S. Senate prepares to debate the issue. NBC’s Peter Alexander reports.

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>>> president obama takes his push for tighter gun control legislation to connecticut this as parents of the victims of the newtown school shooting speak out in emotional interviews. peter alexander has details.

>> reporter: good morning to you. the timing of this trip is also significant with congress back in session today after a two-week break. congress is prepared to begin within days tackling the issue of gun safety . the biggest sticking point throughout remains background checks , what a leading gun control advocate described as the most pivotal piece of any new legislation. with the gun safety debate echoing nationwide president obama returns to connecticut today less than an hour from newtown still touched by tragedy. several victim's loved ones showing their personal quest for actions with "60 minutes."

>> they need to not just look us in our eyes but look our children in the lost ones and see those faces, see what's gone and remember this isn't just about political parties, this isn't just about careers. this is about people and this is about making change to save people and it's important to remember the people that you are doing this for.

>> reporter: mr. obama faces new urgencies as senators could start debating the issue including expanded background checks this week.

>> there's no reason we can't have it. 90% of the americans agree on the weather.

>> reporter: still the forecast is gray. some conservative republicans warned they'll block any proposals they say threaten the second amendment. gun control advocates insist they're making progress locally. since newtown six states including colorado and new york passed tougher gun laws . the resistance, arkansas, kentucky and tennessee, are of ten states weakening gun restrictions. governor of connecticut --

>> wayne reminds me of the clowns of the circus that gets the most attention and that's what he's paid to do.

>> peter, as you point out in your piece 90% of the americans when asked about expanding background checks say yes we're in favor of that and yet if you look at the prospects for doing it in congress they don't seem thaul pa all that positive.

>> reporter: that's the point the white house and president obama will make this afternoon in connecticut . this is what gun control advocates want, expand background checks to cover more than the roughly 55,000 federally licensed firearm dealers in the country to expand them to also consider, to also go over gun shows and those who make purchases online but that's really the sticking point. opponents are afraid if you do that the government would create some sort of federal gun registry which the white house insists is not the case.

>> peter alexander at the white