WASHINGTON, D.C. (KXAN) — President Joe Biden called for lawmakers to approve an assault weapons ban and tighten guidelines on background checks for gun purchases after a mass shooting in Colorado left 10 people dead.
“While we’re still waiting on information regarding the shooter, his motive, the weapon he used, the guns, the magazines, the weapons, the modifications that have apparently taken place to those weapons that are involved here, I don’t need to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take common-sense steps that would save lives in the future and to urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to act,” Biden said during remarks Tuesday afternoon at the White House.
He said the country needs to once again ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, which he said “brought down these mass killings” in the past.
“We can close the loopholes on our background check system, including the Charleston loophole,” Biden said. “That’s one of the best tools we have right now to prevent gun violence.”
Biden also extended condolences from him and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden to the shooting victims’ loved ones.
“I just can’t imagine how the families are feeling, the victims whose futures were stolen from them, from their families, from their loved ones,” he said, “who now have to struggle to go on and try to make sense of what’s happened.”
The president said he already received a briefing about the deadly shooting and would not speculate about the suspected shooter’s motivations. Police identified the 21-year-old suspect Tuesday, who will face 10 counts of first-degree murder in the mass shooting at a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colo.
“As president I’m going to use all the resources at my disposal to keep the American people safe,” Biden said.
Biden commended police for their response and especially thanked Officer Eric Talley, who died in the shooting.
“When he pinned on that badge yesterday morning, he didn’t know what the day would bring,” Biden said. “When the moment to act came, Officer Talley did not hesitate in his duty, making the ultimate sacrifice in his effort to save lives. That’s the definition of an American hero.
Ahead of the president’s remarks Tuesday, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz posted a tweet criticizing Democrats for wanting to pursue gun control legislation.
“Let’s target the bad guys, put them in jail, and stop them from getting guns,” Cruz’s tweet stated. “Let’s not scapegoat innocent law abiding citizens & let’s not target their Constitutional rights.”
Biden noted Tuesday that the shooting in Colorado comes after eight people died in a series of shootings at three Asian-owned spas in the Atlanta area.
“May God bless you all and to those families who are mourning today because of gun violence in Colorado and Georgia and all across the country,” he said. “We have to act so that there’s not more of you. There’s fewer of you, as time goes on.”