President Joe Biden welcomed a large crowd to the White House lawn Monday to celebrate a new law meant to reduce gun violence, emphasizing the “real progress” his administration has made after years of obstruction from Congressional Republicans. But the President also somberly noted that the country remains “awash in weapons of war” as the 16-day-old law has already been overshadowed by yet another horrific mass shooting over the most violent July 4th Weekend in recent memory.
The bill, known as the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, was passed after the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, where both shooters were able to legally obtain their weapons. While the gun-buying age will remain at 18 instead of being raised to 21, the bill incrementally toughens the requirements for young people buying guns. It also denies firearms to more domestic abusers and helps local authorities temporarily take weapons from people judged to be dangerous.
Among the hundreds of guests on the South Lawn were the bipartisan group of lawmakers who crafted and supported the legislation, as well as state and local officials, including Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering. President Biden also visited with the families of victims of both mass shootings and everyday gun violence.
Join me, Vice President Harris, and the Second Gentleman on the South Lawn of the White House as we commemorate the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. https://t.co/GejIO5CM1M
— President Biden (@POTUS) July 11, 2022
— NewsNetNews (@NewsNetNews) July 11, 2022
In his remarks, President Biden focused on the toll of gun violence, saying Congress should pass legislation to hold gun owners legally accountable if their weapons are improperly stored and are used to commit violence. Ticking off the locations of mass shootings over the years and noting more school children have died from gun violence in recent years than active-duty police officers and members of the military, President Biden got angry. “Can this really be the United States of America? How has it come to this?” he said. “We all know some of the reasons: the gun lobby, special interest money, the rise of hyper-partisan tribal politics in the country.”
— Sari Beth Rosenberg (@saribethrose) July 11, 2022
Noting that he owns four shotguns and sharing that he keeps them secured at his home, the President then listed other gun control policies he would like to see passed, including an assault weapons ban, and universal background checks.
Pres. Biden will host hundreds impacted by gun violence on the White House South Lawn Monday to tout the first major bipartisan gun legislation to pass through Congress in nearly 30 years. ABC News' @KennethMoton joins us for more. https://t.co/u0HhLxK1Rp pic.twitter.com/5QeHIcYStM
— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) July 11, 2022
President Biden also said he supports the 2nd Amendment, but “the right to bear arms is not an absolute right to dominate all others.”