President Joe Biden has once again called for stricter gun restrictions in the wake of recent deadly shootings as the country observed Independence Day.
“Today, Jill and I grieve for those who have lost their lives,” Biden said in a statement. “We pray for the day when our communities will be free from gun violence.”
The past few days saw shootings in several places, resulting in at least nine deaths and numerous injuries. The U.S. has experienced a record number of mass killings and deaths this year up to mid-June.
Biden referenced a tragic shooting during last year’s Fourth of July in Highland Park, Ill., where a gunman used an assault rifle to kill seven people during a holiday parade. In response, state lawmakers in Illinois have taken action to prevent further mass shootings by banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
However, Biden emphasized that more needs to be done across America to address the gun violence epidemic tearing communities apart. He has been a strong advocate for stricter gun laws and stated that he would sign new gun legislation immediately following a deadly shooting in Allen, Texas. In March, he signed an executive order to expand background checks, attempting to bypass Congress to tighten gun measures.
Apart from banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, Biden called for safe gun storage requirements, the end of gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability, and universal background checks. He urged other states to follow Illinois’ lead and called on Republican lawmakers in Congress to work on meaningful, commonsense reforms supported by the American people.
According to a Fox News poll released in April, a significant majority of Americans support further restrictions on guns, including criminal background checks for all gun buyers and a ban on assault rifles and semiautomatic weapons.
While numerous gun measures have faced repeated obstacles in Congress over the years, a law was passed in June 2022 and signed by Biden to prevent people experiencing mental health crises from accessing firearms.