President Joe Biden called for “greater action” to prevent gun violence on Tuesday morning after the latest mass shooting made national headlines. Biden called for new action even as he acknowledged he had already signed “the most significant gun reform in a generation” earlier this year.
Biden made the remarks in a statement the White House released on Wednesday morning after a shooter killed six people with a pistol at a Walmart in Virginia Tuesday night.
“Jill and I grieve for those families,” the statement said. “We also mourn for all those across America who have lost loved ones to these tragic shootings that we must come together as a nation to stand against.”
“This year, I signed the most significant gun reform in a generation,” Biden added, “but that is not nearly enough. We must take greater action.”
Biden over the summer signed a bipartisan law that he described as the first major gun legislation in 30 years. It incentivized states to pass so-called “red flag” laws allowing law enforcement officers to seize weapons from people a judge declares to be a threat. The bill also expanded background checks on gun purchasers between the age of 18 to 21.
Biden signed that law after a shooter killed 21 people in the Uvalde school shooting and another shooter killed 10 people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.
Since that bill was passed, Biden has repeatedly called for lawmakers to go further with a ban on so-called “assault weapons” such as semiautomatic rifles and ammunition magazines that can hold 30-rounds.
In October, Biden vowed he would pursue an “assault weapons” ban if Democrats retained control of Congress after the November elections. After Democrats kept control of the Senate and lost the House by only a narrow margin, Biden said he would still “try like the devil” to ban these so-called “assault weapons.”
Biden called for an assault weapons ban after last week’s Colorado nightclub shooting and University of Virginia shooting. The suspect in the UVA shooting is believed to have used a handgun.
Police told reporters that the suspect in the Tuesday’s Virginia Walmart shooting is also believed to have only used a single pistol in the attack, NPR reported.