Former Vice President Joe Biden touted the idea of smart guns with biometric measures during night two of the Democratic Presidential candidates’ debate, which was nationally televised Thursday.
“We should have smart guns. No gun should be able to be sold unless your biometric measure could pull that trigger,” Biden said. “It’s within our right to do that. We can do that. Our enemy is the gun manufacturers, not the NRA [National Rifle Association].”
His comments came during discussions among the candidates about “assault weapons,” and the U.S. government potentially buying them back.
“I would buy back those weapons. We already started talking about that. We tried to get it done. I think it can be done. It should be demanded that we do it and that’s a good expenditure of money,” Biden said.
“I’m the only person that’s beaten the NRA nationally,” Biden added. “I’m the guy that got the Brady Bill passed, the background checks. Number two, we increased that background check during the Obama/Biden Administration. I’m also the only guy that got ‘assault weapons’ banned. Banned. And the number of clips in a gun banned.”
Biden’s comments seemed to go off and came across as unorganized, as it’s unclear what legislation he was referring to.
Other candidates also weighed in on “assault weapons” bans.
California Rep. Eric Swalwell said he was the only candidate calling for a “ban and buy-back of every assault weapon.”
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said, “We have a gun crisis.”
“In 1988, when it wasn’t popular, I ran on a platform of banning assault weapons. We need comprehension gun legislation,” he said, adding, “I believed in 1988 and I believe today… assault weapons are assault weapons of the military, and they should not be on the streets of America.”
California Sen. Kamala Harris said, “The problem is Congress does not have the courage to act.”
She said if she were President, “I will give Congress 100 days to pull their act together,” and then “take executive action and put in place most comprehensive background check policy we’ve had.”
Harris added that the ATF, or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, “will take licenses of gun deals who violate the law,” noting that she would issue an executive order to ban “assault weapons.”
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a veteran of the Afghanistan War who served in the Naval Reserve, said, “We trained on some of these kinds of weapons.”
The issue of guns is “tearing communities apart,” he noted.
“If more guns made us safer, we’d be the safest country on earth,” he added. “As somebody who trained on weapons of war, there are weapons that have no place in America […] in peacetime.”