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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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March 20th, 2013
05:47 PM ET

Boehner supports existing background checks for gun sales

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, said today that reducing violence in the U.S. is a real problem.

"They should actually do a real background check on everyone," said Boehner. His office later clarified that the congressman supports existing laws on background checks.

And repeating what several of his Republican colleagues have said on the issue of gun control, Boehner added that enforcing existing laws should come first.

"We've got plenty of laws on the books. Let's go and enforce them before we just load up more laws on law-abiding citizens," said the Ohio Republican. "Criminals don't respect the law. It will have no effect on them."

As Speaker of the House, Boehner has a lot of power, but it is unclear if he wants to act on gun control, or is waiting for the Senate to put something forward.

"We've had a number of hearings at the House Judiciary Committee and other committees looking at this issue of violence and trying to understand what can we truly do that will reduce this?" said Boehner. "Not some political answer which is what I think the White House gave us, but something that will actually get at the source of the problem."

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