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Obama to talk up gun measures at town hall tonight

WASHINGTON — The White House says President Barack Obama wants to hear from gun control supporters and opponents alike when he takes questions at a televised town hall meeting on gun violence.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says Obama hopes the CNN-hosted forum will spur a “serious conversation” about the Second Amendment, as well as the administration’s new push to tighten gun control rules.

Obama announced on Tuesday a set of executive actions aimed at curbing unregulated gun sales over the Internet and at gun shows.

Experts say the rules are likely to have only a modest impact. Still, the announcement has stirred up a heated debate.

National Rifle Association spokesman Andrew Arulanandam says the group declined an invitation to participate in the primetime town hall, calling it a “public relations spectacle.”