Biden 'shocked' by the July 4 mass shooting in Highland Park, says he won't 'give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence'

·3 min read
Biden 'shocked' by the July 4 mass shooting in Highland Park, says he won't 'give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence'
Joe Biden
President Joe Biden speaks during a Fourth of July celebration for military families on the South Lawn of the White House on July 4, 2022.AP Photo/Evan Vucci
  • President Biden said he was "shocked" by the mass shooting at the July 4 parade in Highland Park, Ill.

  • He said that federal law enforcement would aid local officials in the search for the shooter.

  • Bien just last month signed into law a much-heralded bipartisan gun reform bill.

President Joe Biden on Monday expressed shock after a deadly mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, became the lastest in a string of high-profile incidents involving gun violence across the United States.

In a statement, the president said he and first lady Jill Biden expressed thanks to critical first responders and police officers on the scene, adding federal law enforcement would aid in the search for the shooter.

"Jill and I are shocked by the senseless gun violence that has yet again brought grief to an American community on this Independence Day. As always, we are grateful for the first responders and law enforcement on the scene," he said.

"I have spoken to Governor Pritzker and Mayor Rotering, and have offered the full support of the federal government to their communities. I also surged federal law enforcement to assist in the urgent search for the shooter, who remains at large at this time. Members of the community should follow guidance from leadership on the ground, and I will monitor closely as we learn more about those whose lives have been lost and pray for those who are in the hospital with grievous injuries," he added.

Biden's remarks came as at least six people were killed and another 24 were seriously injured at the parade in Highland Park near Chicago.

Authorities have not shared a motive for the shooting.

The president also pointed to the June signing of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, one of the most significant pieces of firearms legislation passed by Congress since the 1990s.

"I recently signed the first major bipartisan gun reform legislation in almost thirty years into law, which includes actions that will save lives. But there is much more work to do, and I'm not going to give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence," Biden said in his statement.

A bipartisan group of senators led by Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas crafted the law, which includes millions of dollars for mental health services, school security, and crisis intervention programs.

It also provides $750 million in funding for states to implement red flag laws — which generally allow law enforcement to temporarily seize guns from people who are a threat to themselves or others — while enhancing background checks for younger gun buyers.

The law grew out of a response to the recent mass shootings at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York, and Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

While Biden and many leading Democrats sought a federal assault weapons ban — which was in place from 1994 to 2004 — Republicans resisted the restoration of such a law, arguing that it would violate the Second Amendment.

Biden on Monday afternoon returned from Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland, to host military families for a barbecue on the South Lawn of the White House.

Speaking before the event, he spoke of the challenges that the United States has faced in the past and how it's prevailed.

"We've been tested before, just as we're being tested today. But we have never failed, because we have never walked away from the core beliefs and promises that define this nation," he added.

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