Nov 24, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Biden calls sale of assault weapons "sick" and renews push for ban

Photo of Joe BIden speaking while gesturing with both hands

President Biden speaks on Nov. 18. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

It's "sick" that the U.S. still allows the purchase of semi-automatic firearms, President Joe Biden said Thursday, while renewing his push to ban assault weapons.

The big picture: His comments come on the heels of the most recent spate of gun violence in America, which included shootings that killed six at a Virginia Walmart, five in an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado, and three at the University of Virginia.

What he's saying: "The idea that we still allow semi-automatic weapons to be purchased is sick," Biden told reporters in Nantucket, Massachusetts, where he and his family are spending Thanksgiving.

  • "It has no, no social redeeming value. Zero. None. Not a single solitary rationale for it except profit for the gun manufacturers."
  • With the Senate filibuster firmly in place and an incoming Republican-controlled House, the chance of a ban actually clearing Congress remains slim.
  • Nevertheless, Biden said: "I’m going to try. I’m going to try to get rid of assault weapons."

Don't forget: The House passed a ban on assault weapons, 217-213, in July but it was largely seen as a symbolic step with the measure all but certain to fail in the Senate.

Worth noting: Biden and first lady Jill Biden called the owners of Colorado's Club Q, Nic Grzecka and Matthew Haynes, to offer condolences on Thursday. "They reiterated their support for the community as well as their commitment to fighting back against hate and gun violence," the White House said in a statement.

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