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Biden says he will make renewed push to ban assault weapons

Customers look at an AR-15 rifle at a store on Thursday, March 25, 2021 in Orem, Utah.

George Frey | Bloomberg | Getty Images

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden said Thursday he would make a renewed effort to ban assault-style rifles after a wave of mass shootings Which has once again thrown light on the country’s gun control laws.

Speaking to reporters during a visit to a fire station on Thanksgiving morning, the president reiterated his old argument that such weapons are a social menace and should not be sold.

“The idea that we’re still allowed to buy semi-automatic weapons is sickening,” he said while greeting firefighters in Nantucket, where he and his family are spending the Thanksgiving holiday. “It has no social redemption value. ZERO. None. There isn’t a single argument for it except profit for the gun manufacturers.”

Congress has proven reluctant to ban AR-15s and other assault-style guns. Democratic-controlled House pass ban in July, in a vote largely along party lines. But the bill stands little chance of advancing in the Senate, where 10 Republicans would need to join the unified Democratic caucus to break the filibuster.

Biden was asked if he could push for a ban in a lame duck session of Congress, when the incumbent lawmaker who is not facing another election is working with base voters and the well-funded gun lobby. can feel free.

“I’m going to try,” Biden said. “I’m going to do it whenever…” he continued. “I have to make that assessment as I go in and start counting the votes.”

The office of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Biden’s remarks came two days after a night manager at a Walmart store in Virginia opened fire on his co-workers. killing six and at least half a dozen others were injured. The shooter, identified as 31-year-old Andre Bing, took his own life. Authorities said he used a handgun in the attack.

Mass shootings are happening with chilling frequency. a gunman on saturday killed five people and injured more than two dozen other people at Club Q, an LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs. The guards prevented more deaths by confronting and disarming the suspect, identified as 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich. According to Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez, the weapon used was in the style of a Colt AR-15.

Flowers, signs, balloons and more are left at a makeshift memorial near Club Q on November 20, 2022 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images | Denver Post | Getty Images

According to the White House, the President and First Lady Jill Biden called the owners of Club Q on Thursday. The White House said it told the two owners, Nick Grjeka and Matthew Haynes, that they were committed to combating “hate and gun violence”.

Biden has a long history with top-down efforts to crack down on the sale of assault-style weapons. As a senator from Delaware in 1994, he was credited with helping pass a ban on assault weapons. prevent deaths from mass shootings. The ban expired after 10 years during the administration of President George W. Bush and was never renewed.

Biden promised during his 2020 campaign to ban the sale and manufacture of assault weapons, and reiterated in a televised town hall event last month that he would fulfill that pledge.

“By the way, I’m going to ban assault weapons,” the president told CNN. “Before this is over, I’m going to get at it again. No kidding, see more.”

With Republicans set to take control of the House in 2023, the year-end lame duck session could be Biden’s last chance to meet his goal before the 2024 presidential election.

“I’m going to try to get rid of assault weapons,” Biden said at the fire station.

The first family returned to the Massachusetts island in a tradition that began decades ago when Joe and Jill Biden were still dating.

The President and First Lady distributed pumpkin pies to firefighters in Nantucket, along with their grandson Beau, who was given a miniature fire helmet to wear.

they too Invited to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, thanking firefighters and service members, and said he would have a day of calm.

Jill Biden said, “We’re just going to have dinner with family, maybe take a walk on the beach and feel gratitude for our family.”

peter nichols is a senior national political reporter for NBC News.


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