Biden calls on Congress to ban assault weapons
On the third anniversary of the Parkland school shooting, President Joe Biden called on Congress to pass stricter gun laws, including banning assault weapons. In a statement from the White House, Mr. Biden on Sunday asked Congress to pass laws requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers.
“Today, as we mourn with the Parkland community, we mourn for all who have lost loved ones to gun violence,” Mr. Biden said.
The White House didn’t provide more details about Mr. Biden’s plan.
On February 14, 2018, a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17. Since then, many of the students and community members have become passionate crusaders for stricter gun laws. The gunman is still awaiting trial.
Their organization, March for Our Lives, has been pushing Mr. Biden to appoint a gun czar who would serve in a Cabinet-adjacent position. According to a statement sent to CNN in December, the group asked that a National Director of Gun Violence Prevention “reflect the understanding that gun violence is a public health crisis, and disproportionately affects our most vulnerable populations.”
Mr. Biden promised on the campaign trail to take action on guns within his first 100 days in office. Last week, gun control groups Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action said they met with members of the Biden administration. Both Everytown and Moms Demand said they have released roadmaps for how the Biden administration can take action on gun violence.
Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was killed in the Parkland shooting, tweeted on February 12 that he met with Biden domestic policy adviser Susan Rice.
“Thank you @AmbRice46 for your extended time yesterday. President @JoeBiden personally told me of his commitment to lead on the issue of gun safety and that commitment was reinforced in our conversation yesterday. I look forward to working with the @WhiteHouse on this,” Guttenberg wrote.
Tim Perry contributed to this report.