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On anniversary of mass shootings, Biden continues to urge gun-safety reform

In an op-ed published Sunday, President Joe Biden called for stronger gun-safety reforms. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
In an op-ed published Sunday, President Joe Biden called for stronger gun-safety reforms. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

May 14 (UPI) -- On the one-year anniversary of two major mass shootings in the United States, President Joe Biden outlined a series of actions that his administration will take, or has taken, to reduce gun violence.

Lamenting the 2022 shootings at a supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y., and an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, the president said Sunday that he would seek to maximize 13 actions outlined in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. Specifically, Biden said the Justice Department would work closely with states to ensure that people younger than 21 face stricter regulations when purchasing guns.

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In an op-ed on Sunday, Biden also called on Congress to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and he said it should be mandatory that gun owners securely store their firearms. Biden also urged requiring background checks for all gun sales, and he said he wants to repeal gun manufacturers' immunity from liability, too.

"I have already taken more executive action to reduce gun violence than any other president, and I will continue to pursue every legal and effective action," Biden said in Sunday's opinion article. "But my power is not absolute."

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The president's call for gun-safety reform comes one year after a white supremacist armed with an AR-15 style rifle killed 10 Black Americans at a supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y. Less than two weeks later, a man armed with an AR-15 style firearm killed 19 children and two teachers at an school in Uvalde, Texas.

"Gun violence is mobilizing an entire generation of young people. But we cannot sit back and pass this problem off to the next generation to solve," Biden added. "If we wait, too many of them will never have the chance to grow up."

The Justice Department is also educating state and local law enforcement and prosecutors about searching for more information on past relationships, to ensure that domestic abusers are unable to get their hands on guns, the White House said.

The president's op-ed also noted the most-recent mass shooting with an AR-15 style weapon that claimed nine lives at a shopping mall in Allen, Texas, decrying that "guns are the number one killer of children and teens in America."

Biden's op-ed noted how he and his wife, Jill, met with New York and Texas shooting victims' families after those tragedies last year and how they had "one message for all of us."

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That message: "For God's sake, do something."

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