(The Center Square) — President Joe Biden late Thursday called on Congress to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in response to three mass shootings in three weeks.
Biden also called for stronger background checks on gun buyers and an end to legal immunity for gun manufacturers.
“Why in God’s name should an ordinary citizen [be] able to purchase an assault weapon that holds 300-round magazines that let mass shooters fire hundreds of bullets in a matter of minutes?” the president said.
If Congress does not have the votes to ban assault weapons, then the minimum age required to purchase them should be raised from 18 to 21, he said.
“The damage is so devastating. In Uvalde, parents had to do DNA swabs to identify the remains of their children — nine and 10-year old-children,” the president said. “Enough.”
An 18-year-old entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, last week and murdered 19 children and two teachers. More than an hour into the attack, Border Patrol agents shot and killed the shooter. The Uvalde shooting came after 10 people were shot and killed at a Buffalo supermarket. Both gunmen were 18 and used an AR-15-style weapon. Four others were shot and killed this week at a medical clinic in Tulsa, Okla.
The president blamed Republicans for letting a federal assault weapons ban expire after 10 years in 2004.
“My God, the fact that the majority of the Senate Republicans don’t want any of these proposals even to be debated or come up for a vote, I find unconscionable,” he said.
Many Republicans say that banning assault weapons is unconstitutional and will not stop mass shootings. Instead, they say, society needs to deal with the root cause of the mass shootings, mental health.