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It will be tougher to pass gun control than immigration: Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about tightening gun regulations during a visit to the Denver Police Academy in Denver, Colorado April 3,
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about tightening gun regulations during a visit to the Denver Police Academy in Denver, Colorado April 3,

ATHERTON, California (Reuters) - President Barack Obama acknowledged on Thursday that getting big changes to gun laws through the Congress would be challenging, telling donors at a California fundraiser gun control was a tougher issue than immigration reform.

"I am very optimistic that we get immigration reform done in the next few months. And the reason I'm optimistic is because people spoke out through the ballot box," he said, referring to his re-election victory last year. Latino voters supported Obama overwhelmingly over Republican Mitt Romney.

"It's going to be tougher to get better gun legislation to reduce gun violence through the Senate and the House (of Representatives) that so many of us I think want to see," Obama continued. "But I still think it can get done if people are activated and involved."

Obama is in the middle of a two-day fundraising swing for Democrats. Before coming to California on Wednesday, he made a stop in Colorado to drum up support for tighter gun control measures, including universal background checks for gun buyers.

The U.S. Senate is slated to take up gun legislation next week.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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