Biden warns anti-gun control lawmakers will pay a price

Just miles from the site of the Newtown school massacre, Vice President Joe Biden warned Thursday that US politicians would pay a price if they refuse to back measures to stem gun violence.

Biden said in Danbury, Connecticut that there had been a change in American politics which made it less risky for lawmakers to back the kind of legislation the White House is pushing Congress to pass.

"What I say to my colleagues who will watch this and listen to this, I say to you if you're concerned about your political survival, you should be concerned about the survival of our children," Biden said.

"And guess what? I believe the price to be paid politically will be to those who refuse to act, who refuse to step forward, because America has changed on this issue," Biden said.

"You should all know the American people are with us. You should all know there's a moral price to be paid for inaction," Biden said, around 10 miles (16 kilometers) from Newtown.

Biden led the administration's effort to frame a plan to cut down on gun violence as America reeled in shock from the horrific killings of 20 children and six adults by a gunman in Newtown in December.

The plan includes a call for a reinstated ban on assault rifles, an effort to close loopholes in background checks for gun owners and limits on the size of fast-firing magazine clips.

But the administration is also stressing it has no plan to take away anybody's guns and backs the Constitutional right to bear arms.

Obama's plans have been rejected in full or in part by the gun lobby, led by the National Rifle Association, many Republicans and some Democrats from conservative states who are facing re-election in 2014.

But there is a growing belief in Washington that there is momentum behind an effort at least to enhance background checks to ensure that make it more difficult for unstable or mentally ill people to get firearms.