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President Biden Urges Stronger Gun Restrictions on Anniversary of Uvalde, Texas, School Massacre

by Gabriel Martinez
4 comments
gun restrictions

President Joe Biden delivered a passionate plea for stricter gun regulations on Friday, commemorating the one-year anniversary of the most significant federal firearms legislation in nearly 30 years. However, he emphasized that this legislation was just the “first important step” and called on voters to reject lawmakers who oppose further gun control measures.

While acknowledging the importance of prayers, Biden stressed that they alone would not prevent future tragedies. He implored Congress to take decisive action and implement more robust measures to limit access to firearms. He declared, “Action is required. We must move forward and do something.”

“If the current Congress refuses to act, we need a new Congress,” Biden asserted.

Speaking at a gun safety summit in Connecticut, attended by survivors of gun violence and families of victims, the President commended the attendees for transforming their pain into a purposeful fight. He vowed to continue advocating for stricter gun laws and emphasized that he would not relent in his efforts.

Biden addressed the anniversary of last year’s legislation, which tightened access to guns. The law was enacted shortly after a tragic event in Uvalde, Texas, where a shooter took the lives of 19 elementary school children and two teachers. He also mentioned the Sandy Hook school massacre, which occurred ten years prior, where 26 children and staff members were killed.

The legislation from the previous year included enhanced background checks for underage gun buyers, measures to prevent firearms from reaching domestic violence offenders, and provisions to facilitate the implementation of red flag laws in states. These laws allow authorities to confiscate weapons from individuals deemed to be dangerous.

The President cited several positive outcomes resulting from the 2022 legislation. Increased FBI background checks have prevented over 200 transactions by individuals under the age of 21. Prosecutions of unlicensed gun sellers have risen, and more than 100 cases of gun trafficking have led to charges across the country. Prosecutions for the sale of firearms without a license have also doubled.

Biden argued that if the legislation had been in place a year earlier, lives could have been saved.

He highlighted the law’s provisions that allocated additional funding for mental health services, safety measures, and reinforced background checks for buyers under 21. The President renewed his call for universal background checks and a ban on so-called assault weapons.

These proposals are part of Biden’s political platform for the upcoming 2024 election, a platform that would have been inconceivable to Democrats during Barack Obama’s presidency.

The gathering on Friday, led by U.S. Senator Chris Murphy and major gun safety groups, aimed to build on recent progress in this area.

“We were mistaken for a long time. We missed an opportunity for decades,” said Murphy regarding the push for gun safety legislation. He noted that after Democratic losses following the passage of a crime bill in the 1990s, there was a false impression that voters were not interested in gun safety, leading many to believe it was a politically losing issue.

“That was a lie,” Murphy stated, adding that the gun lobby, with some help from Democrats, successfully promoted this falsehood.

The prospect of further action, including potential unilateral action by the White House, unsettles some Republicans who supported the 2022 gun legislation.

“I’m a little apprehensive,” admitted Senator John Cornyn of Texas. “I don’t want any rule deviation from what we negotiated or voted on.”

Republican officials in Connecticut were even more critical of the administration, with State Representative Craig Fishbein accusing the White House of continuously eroding the rights of law-abiding residents through its gun policies.

Since the signing of last year’s legislation, the number of mass shootings in the United States has continued to rise. As of Friday, there have been at least 26 mass killings in 2023, resulting in at least 131 deaths (excluding perpetrators), according to a database maintained by The Big Big News and USA Today in partnership with Northeastern University. This places the country on a trajectory for the highest number of mass killings in a year since 2006, with a mass killing defined as an incident where four or more people are killed within 24 hours.

Firearms remain the leading cause of death among children in the U.S. In 2023 alone, 85 children under the age of 11 and 491 between the ages of 12 and 17 have died from gun-related incidents. Comparatively, Canada’s firearm mortality rate for individuals under 19 is 0.08 deaths per 100,000.

Nelba Marquez-Greene, whose 6-year-old daughter lost her life in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, emphasized that ending gun violence is both a moral imperative and an achievable goal. She also urged the importance of survivor care, acknowledging that grief does not dissipate easily.

Following his speech in West Hartford, Biden proceeded to a fundraising event in Greenwich. In the upcoming days, he plans to intensify his campaign travel, with stops scheduled in New York, California, Illinois, and Maryland before the end of the month.


This report was contributed to by Big Big News writers Mary Clare Jalonick and Seung Min Kim in Washington, as well as David Collins in Hartford, Conn.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about gun restrictions

What is President Biden urging for on the anniversary of a school massacre?

President Biden is urging for stronger gun restrictions and calling for action to be taken to prevent further tragedies. He vows to continue advocating for tougher gun laws and encourages voters to support lawmakers who are in favor of stricter regulations.

What legislation did President Biden commemorate?

President Biden commemorated the one-year anniversary of significant federal firearms legislation that tightened gun access. This legislation included enhanced background checks for underage gun buyers, measures to prevent firearms from reaching domestic violence offenders, and provisions to facilitate the implementation of red flag laws in states.

What impact has the 2022 gun legislation had so far?

The 2022 gun legislation has had several positive impacts. It has resulted in increased FBI background checks, blocking over 200 transactions by individuals under the age of 21. Prosecutions of unlicensed gun sellers have risen, and more than 100 gun trafficking cases have led to charges across the country. Prosecutions for selling firearms without a license have also doubled.

What does President Biden want to achieve in terms of gun control?

President Biden aims to implement universal background checks for gun purchasers and ban so-called assault weapons. He believes that these measures, along with stricter gun regulations, are necessary to address the ongoing issue of gun violence in the United States.

How has the number of mass shootings in the United States changed since the legislation?

Despite the legislation, the number of mass shootings in the United States has continued to rise. As of the latest update, there have been at least 26 mass killings in 2023 alone, resulting in at least 131 deaths (excluding perpetrators). This trend highlights the urgency of further action to address the issue of gun violence.

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4 comments

SafetyAdvocate56 June 17, 2023 - 4:37 am

Prez Biden’s call for stronger gun restrictions is a step in the right direction. We need to prioritize safety and prevent tragedies. Let’s support these efforts!

Reply
GunRightsLover123 June 17, 2023 - 5:39 am

biden jus wants to take our guns!!! no way we need em 4 selfdefens!! gun control aint the answer!

Reply
ILoveGuns87 June 17, 2023 - 9:54 am

Wat about our 2nd Amendment rights?? Biden shud focus on mental health, not takin away our guns. Guns don’t kill, people do!

Reply
SurvivorMom June 17, 2023 - 10:47 pm

As a mother who lost a child in a school shooting, I applaud President Biden’s determination to push for stricter gun laws. We need action to protect our children and prevent more senseless violence.

Reply

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