Biden Pushes for Assault Weapon Ban


President Biden seeks tighter gun control following recent shootings.

Halle Saldivia, Reporter

President Joe Biden on Tuesday called for the tightening of gun control laws in the wake of a mass shooting on Monday at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, less than a week after eight people were killed during a shooting spree in Atlanta.

In brief, somber remarks from the White House, Biden called on the Senate to pass a ban on assault weapons and to close background check loopholes, saying that doing so would be “common sense steps that will save lives in the future.”

But while polling regularly shows broad support for tighter gun laws and specific policies like a ban on assault weapons, Republicans in Congress remained all but immovable on the issue, repeating longstanding arguments on Tuesday that gun violence should be addressed through order by police force rather than limiting gun rights. The president said he wants the Senate to take up and pass two bills, previously approved by the House that would impact background check laws in the country.

The first, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, would expand background checks on firearm sales, closing a gun show and online sales loophole. It passed the House with the support of eight Republicans, while one Democrat voted against it. The second piece of legislation, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021, would close another loophole dubbed the “Charleston loophole,” which allows gun sales to proceed without a completed background check if three business days have passed, by extending the background check review period from three days to 10.

“As president I’m going to use all the resources at my disposal to keep people safe,” he said.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit group that catalogs gun violence in the U.S., 104 mass shootings have occurred in 29 states plus Washington, D.C. in 2021 so far, with a total of 143 different handguns being used in 95 incidents between 1982 and March 2021. No shootings have led to immediate change.