President Joe Biden is confident that in the few weeks before Congress sunsets, Democrats can pass a bill banning assault rifles.
Biden is urging Congressional Democrats to pass the gun control legislation before they lose control of the House of Representatives.
Lawmakers haven’t been fervent in their pursuit to pass legislation banning assault weapons since a ban on such weapons expired in 2004. Biden hopes that changes amid an uproar about the frequency of mass shootings are sufficient pressure to get lawmakers to change their minds.
During a vigil at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Washington on Wednesday (December 7) held to observe victims of gun violence, Biden noted that a ban on assault weapons had been passed in Congress before and that it “worked.”
The “Newtown Action Alliance” organized the nearly two-hour long candle-light vigil meant to serve as a memorial of the 10th anniversary of Sandy Hook, where a semi-automatic firearm-wielding gunman massacred 20 first-grade students and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut.
In an introductory address introducing Biden, a survivor of the Sandy Hook mass shooting, Jackie Hegarty, noted that “guns are now the number one killer of children in America.”
Hegarty asserted children were being asked to be “brave” as they hid from shooters underneath their desks, contrasting that with “elected officials” who “lack the courage to pass common-sense laws to save our lives.”
Banning assault weapons is the purpose of Biden’s gun control agenda, and he has been pushing it since Congress passed a law in June that enabled states to prevent those considered a danger to themselves from buying guns.
In November, Biden renewed his commitment to passing assault weapons, saying he would be “counting the votes” to ascertain if passing such legislation would be possible before Republicans take over the House on January 3.