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Biden urges Congress to pass gun reform in prime-time address to Nation

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Posted at 12:41 PM, Jun 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-02 20:34:05-04

President Joe Biden addressed the Nation on Thursday evening to reiterate his calls for new gun laws following several mass shootings.

Biden said during the address, "the second amendment's rights, like other rights, are not absolute." The president said, "this isn't about taking anyone's rights, it's about protecting children."

Biden, citing the CDC, said that data shows that guns are the number one killer of children.

Biden said, "Why in God's name, should an ordinary citizen, be able to purchase an assault weapon ... that fires hundreds of rounds."

Biden was slated to leave the White House for Delaware this afternoon but delayed his trip by a few hours to deliver the remarks. The latest mass shooting came on Wednesday when a gunman killed four inside a Tulsa, Oklahoma medical center.

In his speech to the Nation Biden repeatedly reminded the country that he favors reinstating the ban on assault weapons that was put in place for a decade before eventually expiring in 2004.

During his visit to Uvalde, Biden responded to calls to “do something” from residents with, “We will, we will,” as he entered the presidential limousine.

Biden said on Monday he was not in direct talks with Republicans on gun reform legislation, but thought last week's tragedy might prompt some to join Democrats in supporting a bill.

"I've been pretty motivated all along," Biden said. "You know the folks, folks who were victimized there and their families, they spent three hours and forty minutes with me. They waited all that time, and some came two hours early, and the pain is palpable, and I think a lot of it's unnecessary, so I'm gonna continue to push and we'll see how this works."

Democrats have proposed raising the age to purchase semi-automatic assault rifles, requiring background checks on all gun sales, and establishing new requirements for storing guns at home, among other items.

While such a bill could get majority support in the House, clearing the 60-vote threshold to break the filibuster in the Senate seems unlikely.

Several Republicans have expressed an openness to considering some new gun laws. Most notably has been Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican who has been meeting with some Democrats on a compromise bill. Whether Cornyn and nine other Republicans would band together with Democrats on gun legislation is a tall task.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Wednesday that Biden has been giving members of Congress space to negotiate a bipartisan agreement. But Biden said earlier in the week that is willing to meet with Congress to form a compromise.