Published On: Fri, Jun 3rd, 2022

Biden urges Congress to act on gun violence amid partisan tensions

Washington: US President Joe Biden has urged Congress to take action on gun violence in a prime-time address from the White House.

The remarks came after the US was shaken by a spate of mass shootings over the past few weeks

In his address on Thursday night, he urged Congress to ban assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines, or at least raise the purchasing age from 18 to 21, reports Xinhua news agency.

Other proposals included expanding background checks, passing “red flag” laws and repealing the liability shield for gun manufacturers and dealers.

The remarks came after the US was shaken by a spate of mass shootings over the past few weeks.

Biden travelled to Uvalde, Texas, on Sunday to meet families of the victims and survivors of a school shooting on May 24, in which the 18-year-old gunman, killed by responding officers on the scene, used an AR-15-style rifle, a popular range of semiautomatic weapons, to kill 19 children and two teachers.

Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill are negotiating gun reform measures but it is unclear how much talk would be turned into action.

Also on Thursday, a committee in the House approved along the party line a package of gun control legislation, a response to the recent mass shootings.

Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, dismissed the package as partisan.

“No one wants another tragedy. No one wants this to happen again. That’s why it’s regretful that Democrats have rushed to a markup today in what seems more like political theatre than a real attempt at improving public safety or finding solutions,” he said.

Republicans deem such measures, including restricting gun buyers’ age and the sale of magazines, as unconstitutional and depriving Americans of the right to defend themselves.

Representative Dan Bishop, Republican of North Carolina, said that “you are not going to bully your way into stripping Americans of fundamental rights”.

Representative Jamie Raskin, Democratic of Maryland, accused Republicans of “misleading the American public about the Second Amendment”.

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