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A petition asking the White House to immediately press Congress for tighter restrictions on gun ownership became the most popular ever posted to the White House’s We the People website after less than 48 hours online on Sunday.
The petition was filed in the hours following an elementary-school shooting in Newtown, Conn., on Friday that left 27 people dead, including 20 children. More than 120,000 people had signed the petition as of 1 p.m. Sunday.
Petitions posted to We the People that receive more than 25,000 signatures are guaranteed a response from the Obama administration. President Obama has pledged to take some action to respond to the shooting but has not yet offered specifics.
We the People’s most popular petition before Sunday was written by a Texas resident seeking permission for his state to secede from the union. Similar petitions were filed from residents of all 50 states in the days following President Obama’s reelection in November. Other popular petitions have called for legalizing marijuana and changing the name the U.S. government uses for the Sea of Japan.
Nearly a dozen other petitions have been filed in the two days since the Newtown shooting seeking tighter gun-control laws or improved access to mental-health care. Other petitions have been filed demanding that gun ownership rights not reduced and that armed guards be placed in schools.