President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden walk to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on Monday. President Biden called for stricter gun control laws in an appearance Thursday in Nantucket, Mass. Photo by Oliver Contreras/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 24 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden called for stricter gun laws on Thursday while making a Thanksgiving Day visit to Nantucket, Mass., where he talked with local firefighters.
He made the comments while the country was reeling from recent deadly mass shootings in Colorado, where a gunmen targeted an LGBTQ night club, and in Virginia, where a Walmart supervisor opened fire in an employee break room.
"I'm sick and tired of these shootings. We should have much stricter gun laws," Biden told reporters.
"Look, the idea that we're not enforcing red-flag laws, period, just based on knowledge, not on parents saying or a loved one saying you should arrest this person now for his own sake, is ridiculous," he added.
"The idea we still allow semi-automatic weapons to be purchased is sick. It's just sick. It has no, no social redeeming value. Zero. None. Not a single, solitary rationale for it except profit for the gun manufacturers," the president said.
Asked by reporters in Nantucket what he plans to do specifically, Biden replied, "I'm going to try to get rid of assault weapons."
Biden's goal of banning assault weapons or making any significant changes to existing gun laws will be difficult to achieve with Republicans set to take control of the House of Representatives following this month's midterm elections.
Asked if progress could be made in the upcoming lame duck legislative session, he said, "I got to make that assessment as I get in and start counting the votes."
The president made the in-person remarks after calling in live to the broadcast of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City earlier in the day.
"I want to say thanks to the firefighters, the police officers, the first responders -- they never take a break," Biden told NBC meteorologist Dylan Dreyer over the phone, before adding he planned to later talk to those serving in the military "both here and abroad."
"God bless our troops, for real," he said.