Biden calls for ban on assault rifles among measures to address gun violence: NPR


President Joe Biden speaks about the recent mass shootings and urges Congress to pass laws to address gun violence at the Cross Hall of the White House in Washington on June 2, 2022.

Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images


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Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Biden calls for ban on assault rifles among measures to address gun violence: NPR

President Joe Biden speaks about the recent mass shootings and urges Congress to pass laws to address gun violence at the Cross Hall of the White House in Washington on June 2, 2022.

Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden has called for a ban on assault weapons and large capacity magazines or raising the age to buy a firearm from 18 to 21 if they cannot be banned and other measures to address gun violence in the United States.

“If we can’t ban assault weapons, we should raise the age to buy them from 18 to 21,” Biden said.

He also called for stricter background checks, red flag laws and the repeal of immunity that shields gunmakers from legal liability if their guns are used in violence.

The remarks came a day after the 233rd mass shooting in the United States this year in Tulsa, Okla., which left five dead, including the gunman at Saint Francis Hospital.

It was a week after 19 students and two teachers were killed and 17 others injured at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas. And just over two weeks after 10 people were killed and three others injured in a racist attack at a grocery store in Buffalo, NY

“There are too many other schools, too many other daytime places that have become killing fields, battlegrounds here in America,” Biden said Thursday night. “The problem we face is one of conscience and common sense…I want to be very clear. It’s not about taking guns away from anyone. It’s not about defaming gun owners. ‘weapons.’

The president cited a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Center, which found that guns were the leading cause of death among children.

“We should limit the number of rounds a gun can hold,” Biden said. “Why in the name of God should an ordinary citizen be able to buy an assault weapon with 30-round magazines that allow mass shooters to fire hundreds of bullets in minutes?”

As a senator, Biden was the author of the assault weapons ban, which was in place for a decade until 2004. But in the current political climate, the president has few realistic ways to pursue gun control without congressional action.

Although there are nascent signs of agreement on potential legislation that would offer incentives for the state to pass red flag laws, update school safety protocols and modify background checks. , the prospect of bipartisan action on guns typically fades in the weeks following mass shootings. .

“This time it’s time for the Senate to do something,” Biden said, adding that 10 Republican senators must be on board with any effort.

“The fact that a majority of Senate Republicans don’t even want any of these proposals to be debated or put to a vote, I find unconscionable. We can no longer disappoint the American people.”

On the Senate side, a deal may be further away, but a bipartisan group of senators led by John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Spent the past week trying to reach a deal on potential legislation that would address gun violence.

On the table are state incentives to pass red flag laws, updates to school safety protocols and changes to background checks.

But it is easier said than done. GOP members have always opposed any law that might limit gun rights.

Separately in the Democratic-controlled House, the Judiciary Committee on Thursday held a markup to advance a series of bills that would, among other things, raise the age of purchase of semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21, ban high-capacity magazines and would increase the bottom. check the requirements — almost all of the provisions Biden advocated for in his speech. The Plenary Assembly could vote next week on the package. The prospect of this measure making progress in the Senate is close to zero.

Without congressional action, executive action is limited. Biden has signed a series of executive orders that tackle ghost guns and braces on AR-15 guns — but those rules can be overturned by a subsequent administration.

Biden cabinet members call for ‘common sense gun laws’

Members of Biden’s cabinet have spoken out in favor of congressional action to enact “common sense gun laws” in recent days.

“We of course hold the people of Tulsa in our hearts, but we of course reaffirm our commitment to passing common sense gun safety laws,” Vice President Kamala Harris said at the start of the remarks during the remarks. an event marking the cancellation of the federal student loan. for students of the for-profit chain Corinthian Colleges. “No more excuses. Thoughts and prayers are important but we need Congress to act.”

On Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack echoed that sentiment at the start of a speech at Georgetown University.

“Added to this litany of challenges are recent tragic events in New York and Texas, where innocent people shopping at a grocery store and children at school have been slaughtered because we as a nation do not haven’t worked up the courage to put common sense gun laws in place yet,” Vilsack said.


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