Thursday, March 23, 2023

Biden: There may be bipartisan support for gun restrictions

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) — President Joe Biden said Monday that the “Second Amendment was never absolute” and that, after the shooting at a Texas elementary school, there may be some bipartisan support for tightening restrictions on the type of high-caliber weapons that the assailant used.

“I think things have gotten so bad that everybody is becoming more rational, at least I hope so,” Biden told reporters on the White House lawn after returning to Washington.

His comments came a day after the president visited the shaken Texan community of Uvalde, where he privately comforted families mourning the 19 children and two teachers who were killed in the shooting for more than three hours. Biden faced calls to “do something” as he left a church service, to which he responded, “We will.”

Arriving from Delaware for the Memorial Day events, Biden was asked if he is now more motivated to put new federal limits on firearms.

“I’ve been pretty motivated the whole time,” he said. “I’m going to keep pushing and we’ll see how this goes.”

In Congress, a bipartisan group of senators met over the weekend to see if they could reach even a modest compromise on gun legislation after a decade of largely unsuccessful efforts. That included pushing state “red flag” laws to keep guns out of the hands of people with mental health problems.

“The second amendment was never absolute,” Biden noted. “You couldn’t buy a cannon when the second amendment passed. You couldn’t go out and buy a lot of guns.”

There is not even close support in Congress from Republican lawmakers for broader measures on guns that are popular with the public, such as a new ban on assault weapons or a universal background check on gun purchases. Still, Democrats hope significant measures can be passed.

Biden said he hadn’t talked to Republicans about the issue “but I guess … they’re going to have to take a hard look at it.”

The president also said that “it doesn’t make sense to be able to buy something that can fire up to 300 rounds,” adding: “The idea of ​​these high-caliber weapons just doesn’t have a rational basis.”

Biden said he had taken some executive action on guns “but I can’t ban a gun” and he can’t “change background checks.”

He added that he did not know where the negotiations in Congress are, but that “rational Republicans are realizing” that “we cannot keep repeating the same thing.”

The President and First Lady Jill Biden, whose veteran son Beau died of a brain tumor in 2015, attended church near their Delaware home and visited their son’s grave Monday morning.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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