Biden renews call for assault weapons ban after Raleigh shooting

Law enforcement officers congregate outside an armored vehicle at the Aldi on New Bern Avenue in Raleigh after five people were shot and killed in the Hedingham Neighborhood and Nuese River Trail area in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP)

President Biden on Friday called on Congress to ban assault weapons as he mourned a mass shooting in Raleigh, N.C., that killed five people and injured several others.

“Jill and I are grieving with the families in Raleigh, North Carolina, whose loved ones were killed and wounded in yet another mass shooting in America,” Biden said in a statement. “We are thinking of yet another community shaken and shattered as they mourn the loss of friends and neighbors, including an off-duty police officer.”

Biden lamented that the North Carolina shooting was the latest in what has been an especially deadly year for mass shootings, including those at a grocery store in Buffalo, N.Y., and an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

“Enough. We’ve grieved and prayed with too many families who have had to bear the terrible burden of these mass shootings. Too many families have had spouses, parents, and children taken from them forever,” Biden said.

“For the lives we’ve lost and the lives we can save, I took historic action to stop gun violence in our nation, including signing the most significant gun safety law in nearly 30 years. But we must do more. We must pass an assault weapons ban,” Biden continued. “The American people support this commonsense action to get weapons of war off our streets. House Democrats have already passed it. The Senate should do the same. Send it to my desk and I’ll sign it.”

Authorities in North Carolina have arrested a 15-year-old male in connection with the shooting that took place Thursday afternoon on an urban trail that winds through parts of Raleigh.

Biden said Friday his administration is working to provide resources to North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) and local officials to assist in the investigation.

The president has repeatedly and emphatically called for an assault weapons ban since taking office, using the occasion of each successive mass shooting or instance of gun violence to renew his plea.

The House in late July passed legislation banning the sale, manufacture, transfer or import of various semi-automatic assault weapons, semi-automatic pistols and semi-automatic shotguns, depending on their features. Two Republicans voted with 215 Democrats to support the measure.

But it stands little chance of getting the 60 votes needed to pass in the Senate, where Democrats hold a tie-breaker in a 50-50 chamber.

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