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Biden ‘determined’ to renew assault weapons ban

The Hill logo The Hill 7/11/2022 Brett Samuels
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President Biden on Monday capped off a celebration of a recently passed bipartisan gun safety law with a call to take further action, including a ban on assault weapons.

Biden spoke to a crowd of hundreds of lawmakers, advocates and relatives of gun violence victims on the South Lawn of the White House to mark the passage and signing last month of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act in the wake of a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left nearly 20 children dead.

At the end of his remarks, Biden acknowledged more needed to be done, focusing in particular on the availability of high-powered weapons.

“We’re living in a country awash in weapons of war,” Biden said. “What is the rationale for these weapons outside war zones?”

“Assault weapons need to be banned,” Biden continued. “They were banned. I led the fight in 1994. And then under pressure from the NRA and the gun manufacturers and others, that ban was lifted in 2004. In that 10 years it was law, mass shootings went down.”

“I’m determined to ban these weapons again, and high capacity magazines. … I’m not going to stop until we do it,” the president added.

Biden also called for safe storage laws that would make an individual liable for not locking up their guns if that weapon was used in a crime.

The president has previously called for banning assault weapons in the wake of shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, N.Y., among other mass shootings. But such a measure does not have enough support in the House or Senate, where Democrats hold narrow majorities.

The bipartisan bill passed last month marked the most significant gun legislation Congress has passed in decades as 15 Republican senators joined Democrats to ensure its passage.

The legislation enhances background checks for gun purchasers between the age of 18 and 21, makes obtaining firearms through straw purchases or trafficking a federal offense and clarifies the definition of a federally licensed firearm dealer.

It also closes the so-called boyfriend loophole by barring individuals from possessing a firearm for at least five years if they are convicted of a misdemeanor crime of violence involving a current or former romantic partner.

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