President Joe Biden kicked off the week by using the fourth anniversary of the deadly school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., to double down on his calls for harsher gun control.
In a statement on Monday remembering the 14 students and three educators killed in the shooting, Biden said he urges Congress to pass bills “requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers.”
He also called on Congress to pass a budget that includes a half-billion dollars for “community policing and community violence interventions,” as well as increased funding for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Marshals.
Biden also touted his previous gun control efforts, including his “comprehensive plan to reduce gun crime that includes curbing the proliferation of ‘ghost’ guns, cracking down on gun dealers who willfully violate the law, issuing model extreme risk protection order legislation for states, and promoting safe firearm storage, among other efforts.”
He added that the Department of Justice is working with cities to help them adopt “smart law enforcement models” involving the sharing of intelligence across federal, state, and local enforcement to help “remove shooters from our streets.”
Biden’s statement said that the government’s first responsibility is keeping people safe and said “it is time to uphold that solemn obligation.”
Earlier this month, Biden released his “Comprehensive Strategy to Reduce Gun Crime” which consisted of a five-part strategy focused on reducing the flow of guns used in crimes, providing federal tools and resources to local law enforcement, investment in community violence interventions, expanded employment opportunities and programs for teens and young adults, and support for former convicts to transition back to communities after incarceration.
While announcing his strategy at a Gun Violence Prevention Task Force meeting in New York on Feb. 4, Biden declared one of the most popular handguns in America equipped with a large-capacity magazine is a “weapon of war.”
“You know, the future is cut short by a man with a stolen Glock with 40 rounds — a magazine with 40 rounds. And it’s really a weapon of war,” Biden said while lamenting the shooting deaths of NYPD officers Wilbert Mora and Jason Rivera, who were killed by a man with a rap sheet that included past gun, drug, and assault charges.
“One of the things I was proudest of years ago, when I was in the Senate — I was able to get these weapons and the size of magazines outlawed,” Biden added. “That got changed. It got overruled. But I don’t see any rationale to why there should be such a weapon able to be purchased. It doesn’t violate anybody’s Second Amendment rights to deny that. But anyway, their futures were cut short by a man with a stolen Glock and that 40-round magazine.”