NRA and Walmart to Meet With Joe Biden Gun Control Task Force

The National Rifle Association's top lobbyist, James J. Baker, will attend Vice President Joe Biden's gun violence task force meeting at the White House on Thursday.

"We are sending a representative to hear what they have to say," NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said in an e-mailed statement earlier this week.

Baker, former executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, will be joined at Thursday's meeting by a representatives of sportsmen's groups and of Walmart, the world's largest retailer, which sells rifles like the one used at a school in the Dec. 14 Newtown shooting.

Biden's task force met Wednesday with gun violence victims and gun-control advocates as it crafts proposals by President Barack Obama's end-of-the-month deadline to produce a set of proposals.

Afterward, Biden said the Obama administration is considering using executive action to act quickly on requiring universal background checks for firearm buyers, tracking the movement and sale of weapons through a national database, strengthening mental health checks, and stiffening penalties for carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors.

Walmart initially declined to send a representative to Thursday's meeting, citing scheduling conflicts. But after acknowledging that it has already been engaged in "ongoing conversations" with the White House and Congress since December, the retailer agreed to attend.