Biden calls for ban on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines

President Biden on Thursday called for Congress to pass an assault weapon ban and a ban on high-capacity magazines in outlining his requests for Congress on gun control policy.

“There’s no reason someone needs a weapon of war with 100 rounds, 100 bullets, that can be fired from that weapon. Nobody needs that, nobody needs that,” Biden said in the Rose Garden.

He mentioned that Congress passed a 10-year ban on assault weapons in 1994 under President Clinton, when Biden served in the Senate. It expired in 2004. 

“For the 10 years we had it done, the number of mass shootings actually went down. Even law enforcement officials have told me and told other champions of this legislation they sometimes feel outgunned by assault weapons and high-capacity magazines,” Biden said.

He added, “We got that done when I was a United States senator. It wasn’t easy going up against the gun lobby, but it saved lives.”

Biden on Thursday outlined six actions the administration will take to tackle gun violence prevention, including action on ghost guns and red flag laws. 

“Folks, this is just the start. We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Biden said. 

He also called on Congress to pass two bills the House passed last month. One would strengthen background checks, and the other would close the so-called Charleston loophole by extending the time federal investigators have to conduct background checks. 

Both bills and legislation to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines would need 60 votes to make it through the Senate, meaning 10 Republicans would have to cross the aisle to overcome a legislative filibuster.

The president’s calls on Thursday echoed those following the shooting in Boulder, Colo., last month, after which Biden said Congress should ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

“We can ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in this country once again. I got that done when I was a senator. … We should do it again,” he said at the time.

Tags Assault weapon Boulder shootings Gun control Gun politics in the United States Joe Biden
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