Aug 6, 2019

Biden pledges assault weapons ban and federal buyback program

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden told CNN's Anderson Cooper Monday he would "institute a national buyback program" if elected in 2020 to get assault weapons off the streets.

The big picture: The former vice president made the pledge in response to mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Biden said he would push for background checks and reinstitute the assault weapons ban that he helped push through in 1994 but was unable to later reauthorize, the Washington Post notes.

  • Biden did not label President Trump a racist, as other 2020 candidates have in the wake of last weekend's shootings, but he told Cooper the president is playing a "dangerous game" by using incendiary language about immigrants. An anti-immigrant screed apparently uploaded by the El Paso suspect appeared online just before the shooting.

Go deeper: Where 2020 Democrats stand on gun control

Go deeper

Where 2020 Democrats stand on gun control

Warren and Biden on the debate stage on Jan. 14. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduced a new gun reform bill on Thursday with Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) that calls for raising the minimum age for all gun purchases to 21 and increasing the excise tax on gun sales to 30% and ammunition sales to 50%.

The big picture: 2019's mass shootings in El Paso, Texas; Dayton, Ohio; Virginia Beach; and near Odessa, Texas, have pushed 2020 Democrats to take harder stances on gun control than in the last presidential election, when Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton only briefly addressed the issue in their primary debate.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

8 El Paso victims did not want to meet with Trump, hospital says

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visit an Emergency Operations Center in El Paso on August 7, 2019. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Eight victims of the El Paso mass shooting did not want to meet with President Trump on Wednesday and did not want any visitors, University Medical Center spokesman Ryan Mielke tells the Washington Post.

Why it matters, via the Post: "Trump’s visit to El Paso was unwelcome for many elected officials and other El Pasoans, who believe Trump’s rhetoric about immigrants and the border has emboldened anti-immigrant groups."

Go deeperArrowAug 8, 2019

El Paso suspect confessed to targeting Mexicans in mass shooting

A candlelight vigil at a makeshift memorial honoring victims of last week's mass shooting in El Paso, Tex. Photo: Mario Tama / Staff/Getty Images

The man accused of killing 22 people in last Saturday's deadly mass shooting at an El Paso, Texas Walmart confessed to law enforcement upon his surrender and admitted to targeting Mexicans in the attack, per AP.

The latest: The suspect reportedly told the police on Saturday, "I'm the shooter," according to Detective Adrian Garcia per an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by the Washington Post.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Aug 9, 2019