Biden calls for assault weapons and high-capacity magazine ban, says it's not about taking guns away

"The Second Amendment, like all other rights, is not absolute," Biden said

Updated: June 2, 2022 - 8:25pm

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President Joe Biden on Thursday called for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in a speech after three mass shootings in three weeks. 

Biden claimed that "most Americans" support such a ban on firearms. If an assault weapons ban does not succeed, Biden said that the minimum age required to purchase them should be raised from 18 to 21.

The president also said he wants to "strengthen background checks, enact safe storage laws and red flag laws, repeal the immunity that protects gun manufacturers from liability [and] address the mental health crisis deepening the trauma."

Earlier in the speech, Biden said his plan is "not about taking away anyone's guns."

"This is not about vilifying gum, gun owners [sic]. In fact, we believe we should be treating responsible gun owners as an example of how every gun owner should behave. I respect the culture and the tradition and the concerns of lawful gun owners," Biden stated.

"At the same time, the Second Amendment, like all other rights, is not absolute," he stressed.

He also blamed Republicans for letting the Federal Assault Weapons Ban expire after 10 years in 2004, and he said that mass shootings tripled after the ban expired.

Studies have found when the ban was in place, mass shootings decreased slightly and increased a decade after the ban ended. Some researchers argue that the decline during the decade was instituted was too small to prove the ban caused it, according to Politifact.

Biden said that in order to pass a bill in the Senate, a minimum of 10 Republican senators need to support the legislation. 

"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 unconscionable," he noted.

The most recent mass shootings occurred in a supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y., an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and a medical clinic in Tulsa, Okla.