Biden to deliver primetime address about gun control

The White House scheduled the address following a third mass shooting in a number of weeks on Wednesday.

Updated: June 2, 2022 - 2:55pm

President Biden will deliver a primetime address Thursday about what he considers the need for gun reform in the United States.

The speech was put on the White House schedule following a third mass shooting Wednesday, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the span of just a few weeks.

The White House guidance was updated Thursday afternoon to read, the president "will deliver remarks on the recent tragic mass shootings, and the need to pass commonsense laws to combat the epidemic of gun violence that is taking lives every day."

The president is calling for action on gun reform following a mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, in which 10 black Americans were killed, a massacre last week at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and two adults dead, and the one in Tulsa in which four people at a medical center were fatally shot. 

The president has primarily left the action role in the hands of Congress, and it is unclear precisely what sort of policy measure he will call for in the address, if he calls for any. Earlier this week, Biden told reporters he would meet with lawmakers to discuss the matter when the time is right.

Despite Democratic control of both chambers of Congress and the executive branch, the president says it is unclear that his party will be able to court enough GOP votes to pass any meaningful gun-control laws.

While Democrats hold a 51-50 Senate majority, which includes a "yes" vote from Vice President Kamala Harris, such legislation will need 60 votes to pass in the upper chamber. 

Last week, Democratic Senate leaders seemed in no rush to draw up new gun-control legislation – an acknowledgement that their slim  majority leaves them virtually powerless to pass divisive legislation following a series of high-profile failures.

Among possible changes to gun laws are a ban on assault weapons, tighter background checks and the enactment of so-called Red Flags laws that take guns away from individuals considered dangerous.

"I served in Congress for 36 years. I’m never confident, totally," Biden told reporters Wednesday.

Biden will address the nation at 7:30 p.m. before leaving for a long weekend in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.