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White House, gun advocates find small piece of common ground

President Obama's FY2014 budget will double funding for the national ballistic imaging system, an aid to law enforcement. A participant in the Jan. 10 meeting with Biden had suggested the move.

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A child stands on a police barricade outside New York's city hall park during the One Million Moms for Gun Control Rally on Monday.

John Minchillo

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To read the headlines, one might think Vice President Joe Biden’s recent meeting with gun groups was a total bust.

After all, the National Rifle Association, which had a representative in the room Jan. 10, blasted the session immediately after, saying it was more about attacking the Second Amendment than about keeping children safe.

But another gun rep in the room, Richard Feldman, president of the Independent Firearm Owners Association, reports progress. He has received word from the vice president’s office that President Obama’s FY 2014 budget will double funding for the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network. NIBIN is a ballistic imaging system that enables the capture and comparison of images of bullets and cartridges to aid in solving crimes and establishing links between crimes.

In the 2014 budget, funding for NIBIN will rise by $24 million, to $50 million – a tiny sum in the context of the federal budget, but still meaningful to law enforcement.

“That budget request will allow ATF [the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives] to make necessary upgrades to equipment, assist state and local law enforcement with input and analysis of ballistics information, and train state and local partners,” Mr. Biden’s office told Mr. Feldman in an email.

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