US NEWS: Biden calls for ban on assault weapons at gun safety event

WASHINGTON, July 11 – President Joe Biden, marking the first primary federal gun safety law passed in three decades, said the United States is “awash in weapons of war” and renewed calls for a ban on assault weapons.

After a ban on the weapons expired in 2004, Congress has shown little inclination to outlaw assault weapons. Still, Biden hopes to use growing American outrage over mass shootings to put more pressure on lawmakers to change their minds.

“Assault weapons need to be banned. They have been banned… I am determined to ban these weapons and high-capacity magazines again,” he said.

The Democratic president also said lawmakers should add safe storage laws requiring personal responsibility “for not locking up the gun.”

Biden also said he supports the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gives Americans the right to own firearms but said: “the right to bear arms is not an absolute right to rule over everyone else.”

Joined by Vice President Kamala Harris, Biden spoke at an event on the South Lawn of the White House to commemorate the recent passage of the Gun Safety Act, the first such new law in 30 years.

In the audience were many members of Congress who passed the legislation and family members of some of the people killed in mass shootings, including the recent attacks in Uvalda, Texas; Buffalo, New York; and Highland Park, Illinois.

The bipartisan bill came just weeks after mass shootings in Uvalda and Buffalo that killed more than 30 people, including 19 children at an elementary school.

The law includes provisions to help states keep guns out of the hands of those deemed a danger to themselves or others. It also blocks gun sales to people convicted of unmarried intimate partner abuse and cracks down on gun sales to buyers convicted of domestic violence.

The gun bill came the same week the Supreme Court expanded the rights of gun owners.

Gun control has long been a divisive issue in the nation, and several attempts to introduce new controls on gun sales have failed from time to time.

Biden, who is trying to improve his declining public opinion ratings ahead of the Nov. 8 midterm elections for control of Congress, has made securing a victory on gun control part of his campaign before voters.

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