Obama to travel to Connecticut Monday to discuss gun violence

Rachel Rose Hartman

President Barack Obama will travel to the University of Hartford in Connecticut April 8 as part of his effort to publicly pressure Congress to pass legislation he believes will reduce gun violence.

"He will continue to ask the American people to join him in calling on Congress to pass common-sense legislation to reduce gun violence," White House press secretary Jay Carney said at Tuesday's press briefing.

When asked about the president's outreach to members of Congress, Carney said the president "remains engaged" in conversations with lawmakers including "those senators who are interested in forging a bipartisan compromise on measures to reduce gun violence." Carney declined to offer any details about specific conversations.

Asked if the White House was concerned that efforts to pass gun reform in Congress were "losing steam," Carney objected. The issue, he said, was "always a challenge and always will be."

The issue of gun violence is especially poignant for Connecticut residents, whose state is is home to Newtown, site of the December mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Connecticut Democrats immediately offered support for the president's trip.

"President Obama’s visit is proof yet again that the Connecticut effect is not going away. His visit sends a strong message to the state and nation we must act now to reduce gun violence," Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy said in a joint statement.