Biden renews call for assault weapons ban, urges safe storage laws

During a ceremony marking the passage of the gun control legislation, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, President Biden renewed a call for an assault weapons ban and advocated safe storage legislation to be passed.

Video Transcript

JOE BIDEN: We're living in a country awash in weapons of war. Weapons that were designed to hunt are not being used. The weapons designed that they're purchasing are designed as weapons of war to take out an enemy.

What is the rationale for these weapons outside war zones? Some people claim is for sport or to hunt. But let's look at the facts. Most common rounds fired from an AR-15 move almost twice as fast as that from a handgun. Couple of smaller, lighter bullets. These weapons maximize the damage done coupled with those bullets. And human flesh and bone is just torn apart.

And as difficult as it is to say, that's why so many people, and some in this audience-- and I apologize for having to say it-- need to provide DNA samples to identify the remains of their children. Think of that. It's why trauma surgeons who trained for years for these moments know it's unlikely that someone shot with a high powered assault weapon will make it long enough for the ambulance to get them to the hospital. It's why these scenes of destruction, resembling nothing like a weekend hunting trip for deer or elk, and yet we continue to let these weapons be sold to people with no training or expertise.

Case in point. America has the finest fighting force in the world. We provide our service members of the most lethal weapons on Earth to protect America. We also require them to receive significant training before they're allowed to use these weapons.

We require extensive background checks on them and mental health assessments on them, require that they learn how to lock up and store these weapons responsibly. We require our military to do all that. These are common sense requirements. But we don't require the same common sense measures for a stranger walking into a gun store to purchase an AR-15 or some weapon like that. It makes no sense.

Assault weapons need to be banned. They were banned. I led the fight in 1994. Then under pressure from the NRA, and the gun manufacturers, and others, that ban was lifted in 2004. In that 10 years it was law, mass shootings went down. When the law expired in 2004 and those weapons were allowed to be sold again, mass shootings tripled. They're the facts.

I'm determined to ban these weapons again and high capacity magazines that hold 30 rounds and that let mass shooters fire hundreds of bullets in a matter of minutes. I'm not going to stop until we do it.

There's another thing we should do. We should have safe storage laws requiring personal liability for not locking up your gun. The shooter in Sandy Hook came from a home full of guns and assault weapons. They were two easy to access. The weapons he used to kill his mother and then murder 26 people, including 20 innocent first graders. If you own a weapon, you have a responsibility to secure it and keep it under lock and key.

Responsible gun owners agree. No one else should have access to it. So lock it up. Have trigger locks. And if you don't, and something bad happens, you should be held responsible.

I have four shotguns. Two were mine and two are my deceased son's. They're locked up, lock and key. Every responsible gun owner that I know does that.

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