Biden says he’ll renew push for assault weapons ban following spate of mass shootings

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden mentioned Thursday he would make a renewed effort to enact a ban on assault-style rifles following a wave of mass shootings which have once more put a highlight on the nation’s gun legal guidelines.

Chatting with reporters throughout a go to to a hearth station on Thanksgiving morning, the president reiterated his long-standing argument that such weapons are a societal menace and shouldn’t be bought.

“The concept that we nonetheless permit semi-automatic weapons to be bought is sick,” he mentioned whereas greeting firefighters in Nantucket, Massachusetts, the place he and his household are spending the Thanksgiving vacation. “It has no, no social redeeming worth. Zero. None. Not a single solitary rationale for it besides revenue for the gun producers.”

Congress has proved reluctant to outlaw AR-15s and different assault-style weapons. The Democratic-controlled Home handed a ban in July, in a vote largely alongside celebration strains. However the invoice stands little likelihood of advancing within the Senate, the place 10 Republicans would want to affix a unified Democratic caucus to interrupt a filibuster.

Biden was requested if he may press for a ban within the congressional lame-duck session, when outgoing lawmakers who aren’t going through one other election may really feel freer to interrupt with base voters and the well-funded gun foyer.

“I’m going to strive,” Biden mentioned.

“I’m going to do it at any time when I …” he continued. “I obtained to make that evaluation as I get in and begin counting the votes.”

Senate Republican chief Mitch McConnell’s workplace didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Biden’s remarks got here two days after officers mentioned an evening supervisor at a Walmart retailer in Virginia opened fireplace on his co-workers, killing six and leaving no less than a half-dozen others wounded. The suspect, recognized as 31-year-old Andre Bing, apparently took his personal life. Authorities mentioned he was armed with a handgun.

Mass shootings have been going down with chilling frequency. On Saturday, a gunman killed 5 individuals and injured 19 others at Membership Q, an LGBTQ membership in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Police mentioned patrons might have prevented extra deaths by confronting and disarming the suspect, recognized by officers as Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22. The weapon used was within the fashion of a Colt AR-15, in keeping with Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez.

The president and first girl Jill Biden on Thursday phoned Membership Q’s house owners, in keeping with the White Home. They informed the 2 house owners, Nic Grzecka and Matthew Haynes, that they’re dedicated to combating “hate and gun violence,” the White Home mentioned.

Biden has a protracted historical past with the up-and-down efforts to ban the sale of assault-style weapons. As a senator from Delaware in 1994, he helped usher in an assault weapons ban that was credited with curbing deaths from mass shootings. The ban expired 10 years later, throughout the administration of President George W. Bush, and was by no means renewed.

Biden promised throughout his 2020 marketing campaign to outlaw the sale and manufacture of assault weapons, and in a televised city corridor occasion final month, he reiterated that he would make good on that pledge.

“By the best way, I’m going to get an assault weapons ban,” the president informed CNN. “Earlier than that is over, I’m going to get that once more. Not a joke, and watch.”

With Republicans set to take management of the Home in 2023, the year-end lame-duck session could also be a ultimate alternative for Biden to meet his aim earlier than the 2024 presidential election.

“I’m going to try to do away with assault weapons,” Biden mentioned on the fireplace station.

The primary household returned to the Massachusetts island in a practice that began many years in the past when Joe and Jill Biden have been nonetheless courting.

The president and the primary girl delivered pumpkin pies to the firefighters in Nantucket, accompanied by their grandson, Beau, who was given a tiny fireplace helmet to put on.

Additionally they known as into the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York Metropolis, providing their because of firefighters and repair members, and mentioned their day can be a quiet one.

“We’re simply going to have dinner with the household, in all probability take a stroll on the seashore, and simply really feel gratitude for our household,” Jill Biden mentioned.

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