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Biden pledges assault weapons ban and federal buyback program

 Democratic presidential candidate, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the 2020 Public Service Forum hosted by the AFSCME at UNLV on August 3
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