Biden applauds Senate advancing gun safety bill
President Biden on Thursday applauded the Senate for advancing gun safety legislation while acknowledging that Congress for too long has failed to make progress on gun violence.
“When I made the heartbreaking visit to families in Newtown nearly ten years ago, I promised them then that we would take action to help keep our kids safe in the classroom,” Biden said in a statement.
“It’s taken a decade, because for too long Congress has failed to make meaningful progress on gun safety reform. Our country has endured too many tragedies since then, most recently with the horrific shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde,” he added.
Biden was vice president when a gunman killed 26 people at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., in 2012. At the time, Congress failed to pass stronger gun laws, which would have expanded background checks and instituted an assault weapons ban.
The president said families in Uvalde, Texas — where a gunman killed 21 people at an elementary school in May — called for action out of Washington when he visited them last month.
“When I traveled to Uvalde last month, I heard a clear message from families there: do something. Since then, I’ve carried their message forward — enough is enough, this time we have to do something,” he said.
The president said he is glad to see Congress moving closer to passing the legislation and called on lawmakers to send the bill to his desk. The Senate on Thursday advanced the bill past the threat of a filibuster, setting up a final vote for later in the day or Friday.
“Our kids in schools and our communities will be safer because of this legislation. I call on Congress to finish the job and get this bill to my desk,” he said.
The legislation, which would be the furthest-reaching gun legislation that Congress has considered in a decade, would enhance background checks for gun buyers younger than 21, provide money to administer red flag laws and crack down on straw purchasers. The measure advanced in a 65-34 vote, which included 15 Republican votes.
Biden has largely waited on the sidelines for the Senate to finalize such a bill and had left it up to Capitol Hill to come to an agreement.
Meanwhile earlier on Thursday, the president condemned the Supreme Court ruling that struck down a New York state law that made it difficult to obtain a permit to carry a handgun outside the home, saying that more must be done to protect Americans in the wake of the Uvalde and Buffalo, N.Y., mass shootings.
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