Biden vows to 'try like the devil' to enact federal ban on 'assault weapons'

President suggests Americans will support anti-gun measures.

Updated: November 9, 2022 - 4:44pm

President Joe Biden on Wednesday suggested that he plans to mount a major effort to outlaw broad classes of firearms in the United States just one day after a better-than-expected showing of Democrats in the 2022 midterms. 

At a press conference at the White House on Wednesday afternoon, responding to a question from the Associated Press's Zeke Miller about what he "intend[s] to do differently" to persuade more voters to back his various agendas, Biden said: "Nothing. Because they're finding out what we're doing. The more they know about what we're doing, the more support there is." 

Biden alluded to the major gun control legislation passed by Congress and signed by him over the summer—one that expanded background checks and toughened restrictions on gun trafficking—and suggested he plans to double down on gun control policies over the next two years. 

"There's some things I want to change and add to," he said, referring to what he said was the "rational gun policy" he signed earlier this year. 

"But we didn't ban assault weapons," he said. "I'm going to ban assault weapons. We're going to try like the devil." 

A ban on "assault weapons" has been a regular goal of Democratic politicians for years, though the measures have often centered around the outlawing of cosmetic feature on common semi-automatic weapons. 

Congress in late 1994 passed a federal assault weapons ban that expired after 10 years; analysts largely determined it had little effect on violent crime rates in the United States.