Biden Calls for Banning Assault Weapons

President pleads for Congress to act after mass shootings
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2022 7:40 PM CDT
Biden Pleads for Action on Gun Control
President Biden walks Thursday past candles in the White House representing gun violence victims in all the US states and territories.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Asking Americans "how much more carnage" they're willing to accept, President Biden implored Congress in a nationally televised address Thursday night to take steps in response to the nation's spate of mass shootings. The president said he wants assault weapons and high-capacity magazines banned, the Washington Post reports. "And if we can't ban assault weapons, then we should raise the age to purchase them from 18 to 21, strengthen the background checks," Biden said, per the New York Times.

Biden gave his address with 56 lit candles lined up behind him to represent the victims of gun violence in all the states and territories, per CNN. He spoke about his recent trips with his wife, Jill, to Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas, to meet with the families of people killed in mass shootings. "At both places, we spent hours with hundreds of family members, who were broken, whose lives will never be the same," Biden said. "They had one message for all of us: Do something." The damage done to the young students' bodies in Texas, he told the nation, was so horrific that "parents had to do DNA swabs to identify the remains of their children, 9 and 10 years old."

Assault weapons were prohibited for a decade. Mass shootings declined in that period, Biden said. "After Republicans let the law expire in 2004, those weapons were allowed to be sold again. Mass shootings tripled," he said, calling for red-flag laws and other measures as well. A bipartisan group of senators is meeting to discuss possible legislation. But Republicans have blocked any effort to restrict gun sales for years. A House committee approved a package of weapons curbs Thursday night, 25-19. Every Republican on the committee voted no. (Read more gun control stories.)

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