In his first State of the Union address on Tuesday night, President Joe Biden once again called for more gun control, including bans on “assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.”
“I will keep doing everything in my power to crack down on gun trafficking and ghost guns you can buy online and make at home—they have no serial numbers and can’t be traced,” Biden said in his address.
“I ask Congress to pass proven measures to reduce gun violence. Pass universal background checks. Why should anyone on a terrorist list be able to purchase a weapon? Why?” Biden continued.
“Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines that hold up to 100 rounds. You think the deer are wearing Kevlar vests?” he said.
“Repeal the liability shield that makes gun manufacturers the only industry in America that can’t be sued. … These laws don’t infringe on the Second Amendment. They save lives,” he concluded.
While background checks are already required for gun sales by Federal Firearms Licensed retailers, they are not required for private party-to-party sales. Universal background checks would force private parties to complete a background check before legally transferring a firearm to one another – and incur the cost of such.
Additionally, federal law already prevents those convicted of domestic violence from purchasing a gun. but does not prohibit those from appearing on the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database from purchasing a gun. Individuals who appear on such a database are mostly uncharged, not proven guilty of a crime, and the U.S. government admits “some names may be mistakenly included on the watch list” for various reasons, including having a similar name as a legitimate suspect. Banning those in the database from buying a gun could also ban the innocent people mistakenly added to the database.
Biden’s calls for gun control in his State of the Union Address come a month after he 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.”
On Feb. 14, Biden also used the fourth anniversary of the deadly school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., to double down on his calls for universal background checks on all gun sales, a ban on “assault weapons” and ‘high-capacity magazines.”