Biden urges GOP to act on assault weapons: Thoughts, prayers "are not enough"
Driving the news: The shooting, where eight people were killed and seven injured, is the latest in a series of mass shootings in the United States.
- According to the Gun Violence Archive, 199 mass shootings have occurred in the U.S. this year.
- Gun Violence Archive defines a mass shooting as an incident where at least four people are killed or injured.
What he's saying: "Yesterday, an assailant in tactical gear armed with an AR-15 style assault weapon gunned down innocent people in a shopping mall, and not for the first time. Such an attack is too shocking to be so familiar," Biden said in a statement.
- "More than 14,000 of our fellow citizens have lost their lives, credible estimates show. The leading cause of death for American kids is gun violence."
- "Too many families have empty chairs at their dinner tables. Republican Members of Congress cannot continue to meet this epidemic with a shrug. Tweeted thoughts and prayers are not enough," he continued.
- Biden asked that Congress work quickly to send him a bill that would require safe storage for guns and enhance universal background checks for those seeking to buy guns.
- "I will sign it immediately. We need nothing less to keep our streets safe," he said.
Context: Congress has been deadlocked in trying to pass an assault weapons ban for over a decade.
- The Democratic-controlled House passed a measure in 2022, but it died in the Senate.
- However, at least 10 states have passed an assault weapons ban. Washington Governor Jay Inslee (D) signed the state's ban into law on April 26.
- The United States' assault weapons ban expired in 2004. It was initially enacted in 1994 when Biden was a U.S. senator.