Biden calls on Congress to act on gun control, saying hospitals and schools have become ‘killing fields’

President Joe Biden laid out specific actions he wants Congress to take on gun control legislation on Thursday, calling Republican congressional opposition to the measures “unconscionable.”

In what the White House billed as a major address on gun control legislation, Biden once again pleaded with Congress to act.

“I support the bipartisan efforts that include a small group of Democrats and Republican senators trying to find a way. But my God — the fact that the majority of the Senate Republicans don’t want any of these proposals even to be debated or come up for a vote, I find it unconscionable.”

He said lawmakers should reinstate the ban on assault weapons, like AR-15s, and a ban on high capacity magazines. If those weapons aren’t banned, the age to purchase them should be raised to 21 from 18.

“Why in God’s name should an ordinary citizen be able to purchase an assault weapon that holds 30 round magazines, that lets mass shooters fire hundreds of bullets in a matter of minutes,” Biden said.

US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden pay their respects at a makeshift memorial outside of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 29, 2022.
Yasin Ozturk | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Biden said Congress should also strengthen background checks, including requiring them at gun shows and online sales, and enact safe storage and red flag laws and repeal the immunity that protects gun manufacturers from liability.

He also called for actions to address mental health, including more school counselors and other mental health services for students and teachers.

“I’ll never give up. If Congress fails, I believe this time a majority of American people won’t give up either,” Biden said. “I believe the majority of you will act to turn outrage to make sure this issue is central to your vote. Enough, enough, enough.

The evening remarks from the White House came after another mass shooting in Oklahoma Wednesday, when four people were killed after a gunman opened fire inside a Tulsa hospital.

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