EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a chronological list of excerpts from Joe Biden’s public remarks, in which he lies about guns, gun rights and the Second Amendment.
Click here to read an analysis of Biden’s gun-related lies.
JUNE 20, 2023
Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception
Private Residence, Kentfield, California
One is the whole idea of dealing with gun violence. The idea that more children die as a consequence of a gunshot wound of a bullet than any other reason in America is sick. It’s really sick.
And the fact that the NRA has such overwhelming power — you know, the NRA is the only outfit in the nation that we cannot sue as an institution. They got — they — before this — I became president, they passed legislation saying you can’t sue them. Imagine had that been the case with tobacco companies. How many more people would be dead today if we weren’t able to rein in tobacco companies and the use of tobacco? Well, it’s that way now. We can’t.
And — and, by the way, you know one of the reasons why the AR-15 is so strongly supported by so many folks in that — in that industry? Number one, it’s the cheapest weapon to make and it’s the highest profit motive they have for any weapon that is made. It makes more money to sell an AR-15 than any other weapon you can buy.
And so, we have to change — there’s a lot of things we can change, because the American people by and large agree you don’t need a weapon of war. I’m a Second Amendment guy. I taught it for four years, six years in law school. And guess what? It doesn’t say that you can own any weapon you want. It says there are certain weapons that you just can’t own. Even during when it was passed, you couldn’t own a cannon. You can’t own a machine gun. (Laughter.) No, I’m serious.
So what’s the deal with the idea that it’s an absolute — you know, I love these guys who say the Second Amendment is — you know, the tree of liberty is water with the blood of patriots. Well, if want to do that, you want to work against the government, you need an F-16. You need something else than just an AR-15. Anyway.
The generic point — (laughter) — the generic point I want to make is — and I’m going to end this because I’m bored myself now. (Laughter.)
JUNE 19, 2023
Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception | Los Gatos, CA
Private Residence Los Gatos, California
“I think it’s critically important that we lock down the — how can I say it? — the sense — the idea that there are more children being killed in America by gunshots than by any other shor- — (inaudible) — it just makes no sense. I own two shotguns. I — I’m not a big hunter, but I used to target shoot.
But the point I’m making is that the idea that you could drive your car up here, park your car, and if some 14-year-old kid — if you left the key in, it took the car and ran it off the road here and hurt somebody, you’re — you’re civilly liable.
Well, you should have to lock up your guns. What’s the big damn deal about that? Look at all these — all these — all these kids who have blown people away, large numbers.
You know, we should be in a position where we have universal background checks. We should be in a position where the idea —
Look, AR-15s are weapons of war. And — and I think the reason why — and I think it’s going to become clear pretty soon — the reason why: The only industry in America you can’t sue is the — is the gun manufacturers. Imagine if that were the law with regard to — with regard to tobacco. How many people would be dead today, that — are alive because we’ve been able to take on tobacco?
And so, there are so many things we can do in that area.”
JUNE 16, 2023
Remarks by President Biden at the National Safer Communities Summit
University of Hartford, West Hartford, Connecticut
You go home and tell your mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, and uncle that, “Whoa, gun trafficking is now a crime.” They’re going to look at you like, “What are you talking about? It’s always been a crime.” It wasn’t a crime.
We did the same thing for straw purchases. That’s when a middleman, who can pass the background check, buys a gun usually for someone who can’t pass the background check. It’s now a federal crime if you do that. (Applause.)
And finally — we finally clarified who needs to register as a federal licensed gun dealer, because a federally licensed gun dealer is required by law to run background checks on those he’s selling the weapon to. And in most cities — down in Philadelphia and New York, areas I know well — like up here — you’d see a truck pull up, pull to the curb, and selling weapons — selling guns, selling AR-15. Selling weapons.
Well, guess what? You do that now, you go to jail. (Applause.)
There’s so much more, but the bottom line: If this law had been in place a year ago, lives would have been saved. And it’s in place now, and it is saving lives today. We got it done because of you. Not a joke.
You all think we’re being nice to you. It’s — (laughter) — you’re tough. (Laughter.) Thank God.
These weapons don’t have serial numbers. That’s why they like to buy them, so criminals can use them to commit crimes and not leave behind a registration of who owned the weapon.
It made it harder for people to buy stabilized brief — braces. Put a pistol on a brace, and it ma- — turns into a gun. Makes them where you can have a higher-caliber weapon — a higher-caliber bullet coming out of that gun. It’s essentially turning it into a short-barreled rifle, which has been a weapon of choice by a number of mass shooters.
We’re making it easier to buy gun locks and other safe storage at gun stores.
If any one of you drove over the parking lot here today, got out of your car, and left a key in your car, and a kid comes along who’s 13, 14 years old, gets in your car, takes it on a joyride and kills someone, guess what: You’re liable.
Why should that not be the case if you don’t lock up your weapon? (Applause.) Why should that not be the case? (Applause.) Why is that not required? And most gun owners agree with me. (Applause.)
We also established a zero-tolerance policy for rogue gun dealers who willfully violate the law. Now, instead of a slap on the wrist, their licenses are revoked.
You have a lot of gun dealers who are engaged in shady actions. Well, guess what? Used to be they get — they’d get a fine. Now they lose their license to sell. (Applause.)
Let me say that again: We can’t let that just become another statistic. Guns, the number one killer of children in the United States of America?
Folks, it’s time once again that we banned AR-15 rifle-style weapon. (Applause.) High-capacity magazines — they’re not only a weapon of war, they’re the single biggest driver of profits for the gun industry. That’s why they’re selling them. Profit, profit, profit. The single biggest.
As I said, we did it once before, in ’94, and 10 years after that, the ban was — mass shootings went down
significantly — the number of mass shootings. That’s — when the ban expired, mass shootings tripled.
But let the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines come back into vogue.
JUNE 10, 2023
Remarks by President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden at Pride Celebration
“Joining us today are survivors of the Club Q and Pulse — the shootings that took place — who remind us why we must fully implement the significant gun law that we passed — the most significant in 30 years — that I signed. But it’s not done yet. We have to ban assault weapons. (Applause.)”
JUNE 02, 2023
Statement from President Joe Biden Marking National Gun Violence Awareness Day:
“At a time when guns are the number one killer of kids in America, it shouldn’t be this hard to convince Republicans in Congress to keep weapons of war off our streets and to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. Even a majority of responsible gun owners support commonsense actions to save lives and keep our communities safe.”
MAY 24, 2023
Remarks by President Biden Marking One Year Since the School Shooting in Uvalde, Texas
“We did something afterwards, but not nearly enough. We still need to ban, in my view, AR-15 firearms and assault weapons once again. You know, they’ve been used time and again in mass killings of innocent children and peoples.
We need to ban high-capacity magazines — the ability to shoot 20, 30, 40, 60 bullets without reloading. Because today, guns remain the number-one killer — the number-one killer of children in America. Guns.
And over the last year since Uvalde, our country has experienced a staggering 650 mass shootings and well over — it’s hard to say — well over 4- — 40,000 deaths due to gun violence.
How many more parents will live their worst nightmare before we stand up to the gun lobby to establish universal background checks, establish national red-flag laws, require safe storage of storage of firearms, and end immunity from liability for gun manufacturers? The only — the only major corporate entities that doesn’t have — that’s immune to liability.”
MAY 18, 2023
Statement from President Joe Biden on Five Years Since the Shooting at Santa Fe High School
“Congress must act to require safe storage, to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, to enact universal background checks, and end immunity from liability for gun manufacturers.”
MAY 17, 2023
Remarks by President Biden at Medal of Valor Ceremony
“Houston Police Sergeant Kendri [sic] Simpo — Kendrick — excuse me — Kendrick Simpo — working an extra job on Saturday morning as a security guard in a mall in Houston. A report came in that a man wearing a black leather mask with metal spikes on it, armed with an A- — AR-15 with 120 rounds of ammo and a handgun 40 feet from where hundreds of children gathered for a dance competition.”
MAY 14, 2023
FACT SHEET: President Biden Announces 13 New Actions to Reduce Gun Violence by Maximizing the Benefits of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act:
“When I helped secure a 10-year ban on assault weapons in 1994, law enforcement’s support was key to our success. Once again, I am asking law enforcement leaders to mobilize their colleagues all across the country to urge Congress to ban assault weapons. I know the brave Americans who serve in law enforcement are tired of being outgunned by criminals with AR-15 style firearms, losing officers in the line of duty, and carrying the trauma of these attacks for the rest of their lives.”
MAY 13, 2023
Remarks by President Biden at the Howard University Class of 2023 Commencement Address
Capital One Arena
“But we also know there is more to do. Because of your power, we took the most significant law on gun violence — we passed it — the most significant law in 30 years.
But we will not give up. I got the Assault Weapons Ban passed 30 years ago, and we’re going to pass it again. (Applause.) We must pass it.”
MAY 08, 2023
Remarks by President Biden at Screening of “American Born Chinese” in Celebration of AANHPI Heritage Month
“I wrote, along with Dianne Feinstein of California, the banning assault weapons. And for 10 years, violent mass murders went down precipitously. But now it’s back.
We just have to finish the job and ban them again and high-capacity magazines.
And let’s finally hold the gun industry liable for the harm their products produce. (Applause.)”
MAY 07, 2023
Statement from President Joe Biden on the Shooting in Allen, Texas
“American communities have suffered roughly 200 mass shootings already this year, according to leading counts. More than 14,000 of our fellow citizens have lost their lives, credible estimates show. The leading cause of death for American kids is gun violence.”
APRIL 24, 2023
Remarks by President Biden in Meeting with Tennessee State Representatives
“But I signed the most extensive gun legislation in 30 years. But what I’m more proud of is: When I was a senator, I was able to lead the fight with Dianne Feinstein to block the assault weapons — the sale of assault weapons and the number of cartridges that could be in a magazine. And I think we still have to do that.”
APRIL 16, 2023
Statement from President Joe Biden on Last Night’s Gun Violence
“Guns are the leading killer of children in America, and the numbers are rising – not declining. I stand ready, as I always have been, to work across the aisle in good faith on federal legislation that will save lives. It is within Congress’ power to require safe storage of firearms, require background checks for all gun sales, eliminate gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability, and ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines – and this should happen without delay.”
APRIL 10, 2023
Statement from President Joe Biden on the Shooting in Louisville, Kentucky
“It’s long past time that we require safe storage of firearms. Require background checks for all gun sales. Eliminate gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability. We can and must do these things now.”
MARCH 28, 2023
Remarks by President Biden Before Air Force One Departure
Raleigh-Durham International Airport
Durham, North Carolina
REPORTER: On the gun — on the gun issue, Mr. President, you’ve continued to call for an assault weapon ban. It’s — it’s —
THE PRESIDENT: It’s called exposure. Exposure.
You know, when people say, “Why do you keep doing it? It’s not going to happen.” Expose those people who refuse to do something. So, I’m going to keep calling it out, remind people that they’re not acting. They should act.
I mean, think about this. I mean, you know, people are beginning to see — they have on television now these emergency room doctors showing what happens when a bullet enters a body when it’s from a revolver or from another gun. It goes in a straight line and goes out.
But what happens now with that assault weapon — with a AR-15 — it goes in the body and it explodes in the body, and it goes in at a significantly higher speed.
So, in every way, it’s just — I mean, as I said when I got the first bill passed, I confronted some hunters and fishermen in Delaware when I was walking through the areas in southern Delaware, pushing this. And I said, “How many deer are wearing a Kevlar vest, you know?”
I mean, really — I mean, just think about it. You can’t own a machine gun. Well, the idea you can’t lock this up? Give me a break. You can’t own a bazooka. You can’t —
I mean, it just — I mean, there’s nothing absolute about any amendment. And this is ridiculous.
And it’s all about money — big, big, big money.
MARCH 28, 2023
Remarks by President Biden on Investing in America
Durham, North Carolina
“You know, we have to do more to stop this gun violence that are ripping communities apart and ripping apart the soul of this nation; to protect our children so they learn how to read and write instead of duck and cover in the classroom. You know, we need to act. These are weapons of war.
I’m a Second Amendment guy. I have two shotguns. My sons have shotguns. You know, but our states — you know, everybody thinks somehow the Second Amendment is absolute. You’re not allowed to go out and own a — an automatic weapon. You’re not allowed to own a machine gun. You’re not allowed to own a flamethrower. You’re not allowed to own so many other things.
Why in God’s name do we allow these weapons of war in our streets and at our schools?
According to law enforcement, the shooter in this horror had two assault weapons and a pistol.
What in God’s name are we doing? These guns are the number — gun- — this is hard to believe — I never thought when I started my public life — that guns would be the number one killer of children in America. Guns: number one. It’s sick.
And, overwhelmingly, a majority of gun owners agree: We have to do something. Not just everybody; the gun owners agree.”
MARCH 28, 2023
Remarks by President Biden Before Marine One Departure
Q Mr. President, is there any — is there any action that you can take on guns? Or do you think it’s all up to Congress at this point?
THE PRESIDENT: I have gone the full extent of my executive authority to do, on my own, anything about guns.
Q Will you — will you consider-
THE PRESIDENT: Wait, wait, wait, wait a minute. Wait a minute. The Congress has to act. The majority of the American people think having assault weapons is bizarre; it’s a crazy idea. They’re against that. And so, I think the Congress should be passing the assault weapons ban.
I want to remind you, the last time we passed the assault weapons ban, violent shootings went down, mass shootings went down for 10 or however many years it was — 9 years. And so-“
MARCH 22, 2023
Remarks by President Biden, Vice President Harris, First Lady Jill Biden, and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff at a Reception to Celebrate Women’s History Month
“You know — (applause) — but this builds on other steps you’ve taken and we’ve taken, like the most significant gun safety law in 30 years to help keep guns out of the hands of — (applause) — to help keep guns out of the hands of domestic political advisors [convicted domestic abusers].
But we still have to ban assault weapons again. (Applause.)”
MARCH 14, 2023
Remarks by President Biden on Efforts to Reduce Gun Violence at The Boys & Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley, Monterey Park, California
“The second thing it does — the executive order ramps up our efforts to hold the gun industry accountable. It’s the only outfit you can’t sue these days. It does that by calling out for an independent government study that analyzes and exposes how gun manufacturers aggressively market firearms to civilians, especially minors, including by using military imagery.”
“And I am determined once again to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. (Applause.) I led that fight in — to ban them in 1994. In the 10 years that law was in place, mass shootings went down. Our Republicans friends let it expire, and it — and 10 years later, and mass shootings tripled since then. Tripled. So let’s finish the job. Ban assault weapons. Ban them again. Do it now. Enough. Do something. Do something big.”
MARCH 13, 2023
Remarks by President Biden at a Democratic National Committee Reception
Rancho Santa Fe, California
“And so, in addition, we passed the most significant bipartisan gun safety law in 30 years — ghost guns and other things. But, you know, you may remember, I got in a lot of trouble because, 15 or 20 years earlier, I’m the guy that passed the — I was the guy that wrote the assault weapons ban and limited the number of bullets that can be in a clip. Who in God’s name needs a 100-bullet magazine on a gun for any reason other than to kill people?
And so, it passed. And violent and mass murderers went down significantly in that 10 years, from the early ‘90s, when we passed it, until the first Republican administration came along and they couldn’t get the votes to keep it.
But the point is, we got — for 30 years, we got nothing done on guns. Well, now we got the gun law passed, and it’s helping. But I’m not going to rest until we pass the assault weapons ban and a mag- — and a limitation on the magazines that are existing.”
MARCH 05, 2023
Remarks by President Biden Commemorating the 58th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday
Edmund Pettus Bridge
“Folks, well, we passed the most significant gun safety law in 30 years, but I’m not ready to stop, nor is Jim Clyburn or anybody else up there ready to stop.
I led the effort when I was a senator to pass the assault weapons ban. And we banned the assault — we’re going to ban assault weapons again. (Applause.) They matter. When we had the ban, fewer people died. Fewer mass shootings.”
MARCH 01, 2023
Remarks by President Biden at the House Democratic Caucus Issues Conference
Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor
“I know I ma- — make some of you uncomfortable, but that little state above me, in Delaware, is one of the — has the highest rate — one of the highest rates of gun ownership. But guess what? We’re going to ban assault weapons again come hell or high water. (Applause.) And high-capacity magazines. (Applause.) When we did it last time, it reduced mass death.”
FEBRUARY 17, 2023
Statement from President Joe Biden on the Mass Shooting in Tate County, Mississippi
“We need—need—commonsense gun law reforms. That includes requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, fully closing the boyfriend loophole to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, requiring safe storage of guns, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets.”
FEBRUARY 14, 2023
Remarks by President Biden at the National Association of Counties (NACo) Conference
Washington Hilton Hotel
“We took a big step toward passing the most significant bipartisan gun legislation in 30 years — ghost guns and other things, background checks. But there’s a lot more work to do. And I’m committing to getting it done with all of you.
Some of you know I — that — and I’m going to say something that’s always controversial: But there is no rationale for assault weapons and magazines that hold 50, 70 bullets. (Applause.)”
FEBRUARY 14, 2023
Statement from President Joe Biden on Five Years Since Parkland
“I once again call on Congress to enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets.”
FEBRUARY 14, 2023
Statement from President Joe Biden on the Shooting at Michigan State University
“As I said in my State of the Union address last week, Congress must do something and enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, closing loopholes in our background check system, requiring safe storage of guns, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets.”
FEBRUARY 07, 2023
Remarks by President Biden in State of the Union Address
“That includes things like — that the majority of responsible gun owners already support: enhanced background checks for 18- to 21 years old, red-flag laws keeping guns out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves and others. (Applause.)
Ban assault weapons now! (Applause.) Ban them now! Once and for all. (Applause.)
I led the fight to do that in 1994. And in 10 years that ban was law, mass shootings went down. After we let it expire in a Republican administration, mass shootings tripled.
Let’s finish the job and ban these assault weapons.
FEBRUARY 03, 2023
President Biden at a Democratic National Committee Winter Meeting Reception
Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown
“And, by the way, yesterday — just yesterday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a law that bars domestic abusers — and I wrote the Violence Against Women Act — bars domestic rebu- — abusers who are under a restraining order to stay away from the woman or child they abused from possessing a firearm. They struck it down.
And, by the way —
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: — they’re eight times as likely to get shot if you’re in that situation.
Look, the Court struck down a commonsense law that’s been on the books for 30 years. They’re saying it’s okay for someone under a restraining order who are threatening their partner or their child to own a firearm. It’s outrageous. It’s literally out- — it’s dangerous. Abusers are five times more likely to kill his female victim if he’s armed with a gun.
I respect the right of responsible gun owners. But someone who is threatened or beaten a domestic partner is not a responsible gun owner. (Applause.)
And the courts should be on the side of the victims of domestic violence not on the side of the abusers.”
JANUARY 23, 2023
Statement from President Joe Biden on Introduction of Key Gun Safety Bills
“In the 10 years that the Assault Weapons Ban was on the books, mass shootings went down. After Republicans let the law expire in 2004 and those weapons were allowed to be sold again, mass shootings tripled. I urge both chambers of Congress to act quickly and deliver this Assault Weapons Ban to my desk.”
JANUARY 16, 2023
Remarks by President Biden at the National Action Network’s Annual MLK Day Breakfast
The Mayflower Hotel
“That’s also why about a month after Buffalo and Uvalde — and I visited both — I signed the first major gun safety legislation in nearly 30 years. (Applause.)
And I’ll say what I said then and I’ll say it over and over again: I am going to get assault weapons banned. I did it once, and I’m going to do it again. (Applause.)
There’s no social redeeming value. Deer aren’t wearing Kevlar vests out there. What the hell do you need an assault –no, I’m serious. And ban the number of bullets that go in a magazine. There’s no — no need for any of that.
I love my right-wing friends who talk about “the tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots.” Give me a — if you need to worry about taking on the federal government, you need some F-15s. You don’t need an AR-15. I’m serious. Think about it. Think about the rationale for this. It’s about money — money, money, money.”
JANUARY 13, 2023
Statement from President Joe Biden on New Justice Department Action to Keep Dangerous Firearms Out of Dangerous Hands
“Today, the U.S. Department of Justice finalized a rule to keep another type of especially dangerous weapon out of dangerous hands – pistols with attached stabilizing braces that turn the firearms into short-barreled rifles.
The gun industry has recently attempted to circumvent this long-standing federal law by selling stabilizing braces that essentially convert a pistol into a short-barreled rifle.
The Justice Department is taking action to close this loophole and regulate these pistols with stabilizing braces as the dangerous weapons they are, and make it harder for individuals intending to inflict carnage to obtain these weapons.”
DECEMBER 07, 2022
Remarks by President Biden at the 10th Annual National Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence, St Mark’s Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C.
“Even as our work continues to limit the number of bullets that can be in a cartridge, the type of weapon that can be purchased and sold, the attempt to ban assault weapons — a whole range of things that are just common sense. Just simple common sense.
But, you know, we did it before. You may remember. In the ‘90s we did it with the help of the very people in here, led by Speaker Pelosi in the House and many others. And we did it. And guess what? It worked. The number of violent mass murders reduced were significant. A lot of people’s lives were saved.
You know — and we can do it again.”
NOVEMBER 24, 2022
Remarks by President Biden After Visiting With Local Firefighters
Nantucket Fire Department, Nantucket, Massachusetts
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.
We got one of the first red-flag laws in the state of Delaware, and my son Beau was the one enforcing it. And it made a lot of difference. It saves lives. So that’s number one.
Number two, the idea — the idea we still allow semiautomatic 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.
NOVEMBER 07, 2022
Remarks by President Biden at a Democratic National Committee Grassroots Rally
Bowie State University Bowie, Maryland
“And I love how these Republicans talk about fighting crime. On a federal level, we passed the most significant gun safety legislation in nearly 30 years, and we’re coming back to do what I was able to do in the ‘90s. That is ban assault weapons. (Applause.)
Wes Moore is a combat veteran. He knows it’s responsible — what responsible gun ownership is. He’ll ban ghost guns, invest in community-based violence prevention programs. Maryland’s largest police union and fraternal police has endorsed Wes Moore because he actually has a plan to keep Maryland families safe. (Applause.)
Wes’s opponent won’t stand up to his own party. He won’t stand up to the NRA. And he is the guy — this is the guy raffling off an AR-15 at a campaign event. Give me a break, for God’s sake. He’s concerned about public safety?”
NOVEMBER 06, 2022
Remarks by President Biden at Rally for New York Governor Kathy Hochul
Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York
“THE PRESIDENT: And we’re coming back. I’m the guy that got the assault weapons ban the first and — that lasted for 10 years. And when we had that ban, mass shootings dropped precipitously. Well, I’m coming back and getting that assault weapons ban again. It makes no sense. (Applause.)
Once again, Kathy’s opponent is siding with the NRA. He voted against the assault weapons ban, refusing to keep weapons of war off the streets. And as I point out all the time, what comes out of a muzzle of an assault weapon is five times quicker, faster than comes out of a muzzle of another gun. It can pierce a Kevlar vest. There are not a whole lot of deer out there wearing Kevlar vests.
Look, folks, this is crazy. If from a — if a politician won’t stand up for his — to his party leaders and keep cops on the beat, if he won’t stand up to the NRA and get assault weapons off the street, do you really think he’s going to take and help your families keep safe?”
NOVEMBER 04, 2022
Remarks by President Biden at a Democratic Finance Reception
Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel
“I’m going to say something self-serving. I was a leader in getting that passed back when I was a senator. And it lasted for 10 years, and violent crime dropped precipitously, the number. But guess what? We’re coming back.
As I told all the hunters in Delaware, I don’t know how many deer are wearing Kevlar vests that you need an assault weapon. I mean, it’s just bizarre.”
NOVEMBER 03, 2022
Remarks by President Biden at a Rally for the Democratic Party
Ted M. Gallegos Community Center
Albuquerque, New Mexico
“Red flag laws, as my son who was Attorney General, was the first one to get passed in the state of Delaware — keeping the guns out of the hands of those who harm themselves.
And one more thing, I’m coming back and — I got it done once; I’m going to do it again — eliminate assault weapons. (Applause.)
Look, folks, they travel — that bullet travels five times as fast as something coming out of a muzzle of a gun. And guess what? Guess what? I don’t know a whole lot of deer running around wearing kevlar vests.”
SEPTEMBER 29, 2022
Remarks by President Biden at a Democratic Governors Association Reception
“We also find that, you know, we finally passed — I’m very proud of fact we got the first major gun violence bill passed and beat the NRA, but it took 30 years. And guess what? They took out assault weapons. Assault Weapons are still legal. People walk around the streets. Who the hell needs an assault weapon? And they’re ni- — they’re — they’re adequately named. They’re for killing people in wars. That’s what they’re about. The bullets travel — they’re smaller — they travel five times as fast as a high-powered weapon, penetrates vests.
I mean, what is — as I pointed out to one person who was a member of the — anyway. That he — and he was saying to me, “Well, look, I hunt.” And I said, “How many deer are wearing Kevlar vests out there that you need?” (Laughter.)
SEPTEMBER 23, 2022
Remarks by President Biden at a Democratic National Committee Event
National Education Association Headquarters
“Look, I support the Second Amendment. I have two shotguns, and I’m not — I — the only thing I really do is really target practice. I haven’t done that in a long time. (Laughter.)
But here’s the thing: There’s no justification for a weapon of war. None. The speed of that bullet is five times that that comes out of the muzzle of most weapons. It can penetrate your vests.
And, by the way, as I pointed out when I was — got a pass the first time as a senator — in Delaware, we’re a big gun-owning state. A lot of duck hunters, a lot of hunters. And I’d be going — and I literally went up and down the streams campaigning and going to the people who were part — who belonged to the NRA and others. And I’d say, “How many — how many deer out here are wearing a Kevlar vests?” (Laughter.) You know?
No, but I’m — but I’m — seriously, think about it. What in God’s name do you need an assault weapon for? It’s an assault weapon designed to kill people, to defend America, to defend people.
But, folks, look, it’s just — we’re just — we’re just — it’s way out of hand.
I’ve taken on the RNA [NRA] and I beat them before, and I plan on doing it again. (Applause.)”
SEPTEMBER 16, 2022
Remarks by President Biden at the 45th Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Gala to Kick Off Hispanic Heritage Month
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
“Together, we passed and signed the first meaningful gun safety law in 30 years. (Applause.)
And I want to make it clear to you: I’m not stopping here. We’re going to ban assault weapons, as I did when I was a senator, and that’s going to end. Because when we banned it, mass murders — mass murders stopped. And when we changed it, it went back again.”
SEPTEMBER 15, 2022
Remarks by President Biden at the United We Stand Summit
“Earlier this summer, I signed into law a Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the first major gun safety legislation in 30 years. (Applause.) It will help keep weapons out of the hands of people who engage in hate and rage and make them dangerous to themselves and to others.
And I’m going to say it again: I am not going to stop until we ban assault weapons. (Applause.) We have to ban assault weapons. I mean it. We did it once before. And when we did,
mass crimes plummeted.”
AUGUST 30, 2022
Remarks by President Biden on the Safer America Plan
“For many of you at home, I want to be clear: It’s not about taking away anybody’s guns. In fact, we should be treating responsible gun owners as examples how every gunowner should behave.
I have two shotguns at home. I ca- — it’s a long story, but I’m not opposed to guns. But I support the Second Amendment. And I support the Second Amendment.
But the Second Amendment, as one of the most — one of the most conservative justices in history, Justice Scalia, once wrote, “Like…” — quote, “Like most rights, the rights granted by the Second Amendment are not unlimited.” They’re not unlimited. (Applause.)
Right now, you can’t go on and buy an automatic weapon. You can’t go out and buy a cannon.
And for those brave, right-wing Americans who say it’s all about keeping America — keeping America as independent and safe: If you want to fight against a country, you need an F-15. You need something a little more than a gun. (Laughter.) No, I’m not joking. Think about this. Think about the rationale we use — that’s used to provide this. And who are they shooting at? They’re shooting at these guys behind me.
Folks, look, I went to every major school shooting around — in the country since I was the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee all the way through as Vice President and President. Over 48,000 people died from gunshot wounds in 2021 in the United States of America, over 26,000 by suicide.
When guns are the number-one killer — listen to this — the guns are the number-one killer of children in America — of children. They’re number one. More children gui- — die from guns than active-duty police and active-duty military personnel combined.
Hear that again: More children in America die from guns than active-duty police and active-duty military in the United States combined.
No, I’m not joking. Think about it. What are we doing?
And by the way, how many — my dad used to love to hunt in the Poconos when we lived in Scranton. How many deer or bear are wearing Kevlar vests, huh? (Laughter.) Not a joke.
Do you realize the bullet out of an AR-15 travels five times as rapidly as a bullet shot out of any other gun, five times — is lighter — and can pierce Kevlar?
Imagine being a parent — not just losing a child, but not being able to physically identify the child, or the adult, because they’ve literally been blown apart.
We equip — we equip our service members with the most lethal weapons on Earth to protect all of us, protect Americans. Butwe require them to receive significant training, extensive background checks, mental health assessments. They have to learn how to lock up and store their weapons responsibly or they get kicked out. But we let any stranger — an 18-year-old — walk in — a 20-year-old — and buy an AR-15.
That’s why, back in 1994, I took on the NRA and passed the assault weapons ban. For 10 years, mass shootings were down — 10 years in a row since I passed that legislation in 1994 as a chair- — as a senator.
But in 2004, Republicans let that ban expire. And what happened? Mass shootings in America tripled. Tripled.
It’s time to ban these. It’s time to ban these weapons. We did it before, and we can do it again.
AUGUST 26, 2022
Remarks by President Biden at a Reception for the Democratic National Committee
“But — if I have anything to do with it, we’re going to add assault weapons to banning (inaudible). (Applause.) I got that passed when I was a United States senator — banning assault weapons. But look at all the people being killed. I mean, scores and scores and scores. I’ve been to every one of those sites from Uvalde, to up in Buffalo, and all the rest. You know, you have the velocity of a bullet coming out of assault weapons is three and a half times as fast as a bullet coming out of another weapon. The ability to be able to rapidly fire and make it an automatic is easy. And it can even penetrate bulletproof vests.
And so, you have, literally, hundreds and hundreds of hundreds of people being gunned down. And those stories you never read about on the street. Every single day, there is a Uvalde out there.”
JULY 11, 2022
Remarks by President Biden at an Event Commemorating the Passage of the Safer Communities Act
“One, this law includes the first-ever federal law that makes gun trafficking and straw purchases explicit federal crimes. (Applause.)
It clarifies who needs to register as a federally licensed gun dealer and run background checks before selling a single weapon. (Applause.)
What is the rationale for these weapons outside war zones? Some people claim it’s for sport or to hunt. But let’s look at the facts: The most common rounds fired from an AR-15 move almost twice as fast as that from a handgun. Coupled with smaller, lighter bullets, these weapons maximize the damage done coupled with those bullets, and human flesh and bone is just torn apart.
It makes no sense. Assault weapons need to be banned. They were banned. (Applause.) I led the fight in 1994. And 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.
Expanded background checks are something that the vast majority of Americans, including the majority of gun owners, agree on.
My fellow Americans, none of what I’m talking about infringes on anyone’s Second Amendment rights.
I’ve said it many times: I support the Second Amendment.
But when guns are the number one killer of children in the United States of America — let me say that again — guns are the number one killer of children in the United States. More than car accidents. More than cancer. And over the last two decades, more high-school [school-age] children have died from gun shots than on-duty police officers and active-duty military combined. Think of that. Then we can’t just stand by. We can’t let it happen any longer.
JUNE 25, 2022
Remarks by President Biden at Signing of S.2938, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act
“It keeps guns out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves and to others. And it finally closes what is known as the “boyfriend loophole.” So if you assault your boyfriend or girlfriend, you can’t buy a gun or own a gun.”
JUNE 23, 2022
Statement by President Joe Biden on Supreme Court Ruling on Guns
“I urge states to continue to enact and enforce commonsense laws to make their citizens and communities safer from gun violence. As the late Justice Scalia recognized, the Second Amendment is not absolute. For centuries, states have regulated who may purchase or possess weapons, the types of weapons they may use, and the places they may carry those weapons. And the courts have upheld these regulations.”
JUNE 17, 2022
Statement by President Joe Biden on Passage of Delaware Assault Weapons Ban and Other Gun Safety Legislation
“In the decade after Congress passed the 1994 ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines—with bipartisan support in Congress and the backing of law enforcement—mass shootings went down. But after Republicans let the law expire in 2004 and those weapons were allowed to be sold again, mass shootings tripled. Those are the facts, and they should inspire us to action.”
JUNE 12, 2022
Remarks by President Biden Before Air Force One Departure
Los Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles, California
Q Do you have a message for those at the March For Our Lives for gun safety today in Washington?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Keep marching. It’s important. Look, this has to become an election issue. The way people listen — senators, congressmen — is when people say, “I’m going to — this is going to affect my vote.”
Too many people are dying needlessly. And what — and what’s even being proposed in the House and Senate is marginal. I mean, it’s — it’s important, but it’s not all that needs to be done. The idea we’re not going to do background checks, the idea we’re not — anyway, the answer: march.
JUNE 11, 2022
Remarks by President Biden at a Reception for the Democratic National Committee
Beverly Hills, California
Look what’s happening, folks, out there. Look what’s happening on guns now. Now, I don’t ca- — I’m a gun owner. I own two shotguns. My son Beau passed away. He had another shot gun. We used to like to skeet shoot. We weren’t hunters.
But the point I’m making is that the Second Amendment is not absolute. These ideas — these AR-15s — (applause) — we outlawed the — them when I was a senator. I passed the law. I’m the guy that wrote the laws that eliminated assault weapons. And — (applause) — and I’m the guy who wrote the law that limited the number of bullets you could have in a magazine.
And when I was — everybody said, “Well, you come from a state that doesn’t matter a lot.” There are more gunowners in Delaware because there are duck hunters and hunters in that — in that — what they call the Eastern Shore than there are in percentage than any state — there was back then; I don’t know what it is exactly now — but any state.
And I — the way to sell this — I’d walk through the fishing areas. There’s a lot of lowland swamp area in the southern part of the Delmarva Peninsula.
And the guys would be fishing, and I was — when I was campaigning to get this done. And they’d say, “God darn, Joe, what the hell are you doing taking my gun away?” And I said, “Let me ask you a question.” I said, “How many — when you go deer hunting, how many deer are wearing Kevlar vests?” (Laughter.) And they’d look at me. I’m — I’m not joking. This is what I — and they’d kind of look at me and g — and I said, “And, by the way, if you need 30, 40, 60, up to 100 rounds to fire,” I said, “you’re a danger to yourself, man.” (Laughter.) And they’d go, “Yeah, well, Joe, but they say you’re going to take my gun.”
The point of the matter is that we passed it for 10 years, this ban. And significant violent crime and particularly — went to — mass shootings went down 70 percent. (Applause.)
But I could only get it passed for 10 years. It had to be reauthorized in 10 years. The Bush administration came into play. And I’m not — I don’t want to pick on the Bush administration because they weren’t all bad, but they — they didn’t have the courage to try to pass it again.
And guess what? Violent shootings went up seven — seven times what they were.
There’s a reason why the military takes so long to train somebody. It’s not easy to pick up a rifle or a gun and blow somebody’s brains out in front. More people get killed with their own gun in their home trying to stop a burglar than, in fact, any other cause. Think about that. Because it’s hard to do. It’s a hard thing to do.
JUNE 02, 2022
Remarks by President Biden on Gun Violence in America at Cross Hall
“This isn’t about taking away anyone’s rights. It’s about protecting children. It’s about protecting families. It’s about protecting whole communities. It’s about protecting our freedoms to go to school, to a grocery store, and to a church without being shot and killed.
According to new data just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, guns are the number one killer of children in the United States of America. The number one killer. More than car accidents. More than cancer.
Over the last two decades, more school-aged children have died from guns than on-duty police officers and active-duty military combined. Think about that: more kids than on-duty cops killed by guns, more kids than soldiers killed by guns.
We need to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. And if we can’t ban assault weapons, then we should raise the age to purchase them from 18 to 21. Strengthen background checks. Enact safe storage laws and red-flag laws. Repeal the immunity that protects gun manufacturers from liability. Address the mental health crisis deepening the trauma of gun violence and as a consequence of that violence.”
MAY 30, 2022
Remarks by President Biden After Marine One Arrival
“I know that it makes no sense to be able to purchase something that can fire up to 300 rounds. I know it makes — and I know what happened when we had rational action before, back in — when the crime bill was — the law that got passed. It did significantly cut down mass murders.
And so there’s only one reason for something that can fire, you know, 100 shots.
I mean — and I’ll just conclude with this: Look, when I first started doing hearings on the issue of what rational gun laws should be, it was during a period when I was a senator and the death rate was going up. Not that many more people were being shot, but the death rate was up. And when I think of — I’m not sure, I think it was (inaudible) hospital in New York — whatever the largest trauma hospital is.
And I sat with a trauma doctor, and I asked him — I said, “What’s the difference? Why are so many people…” — and not that many more people were being shot. This is now 20 years ago, or 25 years. I said, “Why are they dying?” And they showed me x-rays. He said, “A .22-caliber bullet will lodge in the lung, and we can probably get it out, may be able to get it, and save the life. A 9mm bullet blows the lung out of the body.”
So the idea of these high-caliber weapons is of — there’s simply no rational basis for it in terms of thinking about self-protection, hunting. I mean, I just — and remember, the Constitution, the Second Amendment was never absolute. You couldn’t buy a cannon when the Second Amendment was passed. You couldn’t go out and purchase a lot of weapons.
And those who — not many are saying it anymore, but there was a while there where people were saying that, you know, the Tree of Liberty is watered with the blood of patriots, and what we have to do is you have to be able to take on the government when they’re wrong. Well, to do that, you need an F-15, you know? Or you need an Abrams tank.
I mean — so, it’s just — as I say, I think thing — I think things have gotten so bad that everybody is getting more rational about it. At least that’s my hope and prayer.
I’ve got Gold Star moms in there, so I got to go in.”
MAY 24, 2022
Remarks by President Biden on the School Shooting in Uvalde, Texas
“I spent my career as a senator and as Vice President working to pass commonsense gun laws. We can’t and won’t prevent every tragedy. But we know they work and have a positive impact. When we passed the assault weapons ban, mass shootings went down. When the law expired, mass shootings tripled.
Deer aren’t running through the forest with Kevlar vests on, for God’s sake. It’s just sick.”
APRIL 11, 2022
Remarks by President Biden Announcing Actions to Fight Gun Crime and His Nominee for ATF Director, Steve Dettelbach
“First, we’re going after rogue gun dealers. The last time we had data on this was more than 20 years ago. Five percent of gun dealers sold 90 percent of illegal guns found at crime scenes. Five percent sold 90 percent.
These merchants of death are breaking the law for profit and selling guns that are killing innocent people.
We’re cracking down on these gun dealers and the violent criminals they knowingly arm.
My son was the Attorney General in Delaware. He’d go around and make sure everybody, literally, in these high-crime-rate neighborhoods — he’d give them his personal cell phone number and instructed all of the cops to do the same thing. And they did. And the crime plummeted. Not a joke. Look at the record. Not just my son, but all across the nation.
And for the AFT [ATF] to hire agents they need to help the fight gun crime — more agents.
I was getting criticized when I first passed this law when I was a senator. And guess what? I was down in southern Delaware — they do a lot of hunting and fishing down there — and I was walking up one of the creek beds. And a guy standing said, “You want to take my gun?” I said, “I don’t want to take your gun.” He said, “Well, you’re telling me I can’t have more than X number of bullets in a — in a — in my gun.” And I said, “What — do you think the deer you’re hunting wear Kevlar vests? What the hell you need 20 bullets for? You must be a hell of a terrible shot.” (Laughter.)
And, by the way — it’s going to sound bizarre — I support the Second Amendment. You have a right. But from the very beginning, the Second Amendment didn’t say you can own any gun you want, big as you want. You couldn’t buy a cannon when, in fact, the Second Amendment passed. And certain people from the very beginning weren’t allowed to purchase guns. It’s nothing new. It’s just rational.
Look, this should be just the start. We need to repeal the liability shield of gun manufacturers and finally hold them accountable for false advertising and many other things they do.
There’s one more action I’m taking today.”
MARCH 02, 2022
Remarks by President Biden in State of the Union Address
“THE PRESIDENT: And, folks, ban assault weapons with high-capacity magazines that hold up to 100 rounds. You think the deer are wearing Kevlar vests? (Laughter.)
Look, repeal the liability shield that makes gun manufacturers the only industry in America that can’t be sued — the only one. (Applause.) Imagine had we done that with the tobacco manufactures.
These laws don’t infringe on the Second Amendment; they save lives.”
FEBRUARY 03, 2022
Remarks by President Biden at a Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Meeting
One Police Plaza, New York, New York
“One of the things I was proudest of years ago, when I was in the Senate — I was able to get these weapons and the size of magazines outlawed. That got changed. It got overruled. But I don’t see any rationale to why there should be such a weapon able to be purchased. It doesn’t violate anybody’s Second Amendment rights to deny that.
But anyway, their futures were cut short by a man with a stolen Glock and that 40-round magazine.
First, we want to crack down on the flow of firearms used to commit violence. That includes taking on and shutting down rogue gun dealers at — and it’s about doing background checks, as well as outright selling of that — making sure the people who are not allowed to have a gun, don’t get the gun in the first place.
And again, for any of the press in here, the press listening: This doesn’t violate anybody’s Second Amendment right. There’s no violation of a Second Amendment right.
We talk like there’s no amendment that’s absolute. When the amendment was passed, it didn’t say anybody can own a gun and any kind of gun and any kind of weapon. You couldn’t buy a cannon in — when the — this — this amendment was passed. And so, no reason why you should be able to buy certain assault weapons. But that’s another issue.
And look, one of the things that we focused on, the Attorney General and I — and we’re getting to the point where I think we’re going to be able to have a real impact on it — includes going after ghost guns.
Ghost guns are the guns everyone in this room knows that can be purchased in parts, assembled at home, no serial number, and can’t be traced. And they’re as deadly as any other weapon out there. But the fact is: They are out there.”
OCTOBER 16, 2021
Remarks by President Biden at the 40th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service
“We need to work together to confront the ecidemic [sic] — the epidemic of gun violence. Your brothers and sisters have told me, over the years, sometimes you feel like you’re “outgunned.”
Right now, the Justice Department, under the leadership of Attorney General Garland, is working with state and local law enforcement across the country to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals.
They now have zero tolerance for gun dealers who willfully violate the law, putting firearms into the hands of people who are a danger to the community and you.”
JULY 22, 2021
Remarks by President Biden in a CNN Town Hall with Don Lemon
Mount St. Joseph University
“THE PRESIDENT: Now, I’m not being a wise guy. There’s no reason you should — have you seen my gun violence legislation I’ve introduced? As you know — because you’re so involved — actually, crime is down; gun violence and murder rates are up. Guns. I’m the only guy that ever got passed legislation, when I was a senator, that made sure we eliminated assault weapons. The idea you need a weapon that can have the ability to fire 20, 30, 40, 50, 120 shots from that weapon — whether it’s a — whether it’s a 9-millimeter pistol or whether it’s a rifle — is ridiculous.
I’m continuing to push to eliminate the sale of those things, but I’m not likely to get that done in the near term. So here’s what I’ve done: The people who, in fact, are using those weapons are acquiring them illegally — illegally. And so what happens is, I’ve gotten ATF — Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms — I have them increase their budget and increase their capacity, along with the Justice Department, to go after the gun shops that are not abiding by the law of doing background checks. (Applause.) For real. That’s number one.
Number two — number two, we’re in a position where you — most of the cities — and I don’t know enough — I think you’ve had a lot of gun violence here in Cincinnati. I think it was up to — what? — how many — how many how dead? Five hundred over a period. Don’t hold me to the number — whatever it was. But my point is, all across the country. And it’s not because the gun shops in the cities are selling these guns. They are either shadow gun dealers and/or gun shops that are not abiding by the law.
So, we’re going to do major investigations and shut those guys down and put some of them in jail and — for what they’re doing: selling these weapons. There’s also a thing called “ghost guns” that are being sold now and being used.”
JULY 12, 2021
Remarks by President Biden Discussing His Administration’s Comprehensive Strategy to Reduce Gun Crimes, Roosevelt Room
“And it includes cracking down on holding rogue gun dealers accountable for violating the federal law. It includes the Justice Department creating five new strike forces to crack down on illegal gun trafficking (inaudible) supplying weapons to cities of New York — from New York to the Bay Area.”
JUNE 23, 2021
Remarks by President Biden and Attorney General Garland on Gun Crime Prevention Strategy
State Dining Room
“For folks at home, here’s what you need to know: I’ve been at this a long time and there are things we know that work that reduce gun violence and violent crime, and things that we don’t know about. But things we know about: Background checks for purchasing a firearm are important; a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines — no one needs to have a weapon that can fire over 30, 40, 50, even up to 100 rounds unless you think the deer are wearing Kevlar vests or something; community policing and programs that keep neighborhoods safe and keep folks out of trouble.
First, we discussed cracking down, as you heard from the Attorney General, on rogue gun dealers. We know that if there is a strict enforcement of background checks, then fewer guns get into the hands of criminals. Background checks have thus far kept more than 3 million guns out of the hands of felons — convicted felons, fugitives, domestic abusers, and others prohibited from being able to purchase a gun. And there are still too many loopholes in that system.
And, today, enough rogue gun dealers feel like they can get away with selling guns to people who aren’t legally allowed to own them.
And I might add: The Second Amendment, from the day it was passed, limited the type of people who could own a gun and what type of weapon you could own. You couldn’t buy a cannon.
Those who say the blood of lib- — “the blood of patriots,” you know, and all the stuff about how we’re going to have to move against the government. Well, the tree of liberty is not watered with the blood of patriots. What’s happened is that there have never been — if you wanted or if you think you need to have weapons to take on the government, you need F-15s and maybe some nuclear weapons.
The point is that there has always been the ability to limit — rationally limit the type of weapon that can be owned and who can own it.
The last time we had data on this issue of who is purchasing guns was more than 20 years ago. Five percent of gun dealers — it turns out, in the study we did — showed that 90 percent of illegal guns were found at the crime scenes sold by 5 percent of gun dealers. Five percent sold 90 percent of the guns found at crime scenes.
And the — these merchants of death are breaking the law for profit. They’re selling guns that are killing innocent people. It’s wrong. It’s unacceptable. And as the Attorney General said, we’re going to crack down on those gun dealers and the violent criminals they knowingly arm.
Talk to most responsible gun owners and hunters. They’ll tell you there’s no possible justification for having 100 rounds in a magazine of a gun. Like I’ve said before: What do you think, the deer are wearing Kevlar vests?
Responsible gun owners will tell you that there are too many people today who are able to buy a gun but shouldn’t be able to buy a gun.
APRIL 30, 2021
Remarks by President Biden Before Air Force One Departure
Dobbins Air Reserve Base
“THE PRESIDENT: Well, I don’t think a guns summit is the way it is going to go. I think there’s certain things that have already been passed in the House. It should be — they should do it. It’s time for the Congress to step up.
And — and one of the things that I’ve been doing and I’m going to continue to do is make the case to the American people: This makes no sense. The idea that over 250 people were shot dead between the first time I came down and the second mass murder a week later — I mean, this is — it’s absolutely —
And, by the way, a significant portion of gun owners and NRA members support eliminating the assault weapons. And who the hell needs 100 rounds in a gun that can —
I mean, so, the vast majority of the American people are getting fed up with it. And I think, eventually, that’s going to break the back of what — the opposition.
But, look, there’s a lot on the plate. What I’ve got to figure out is what can I get — get done, when. It’s a matter of sequencing a lot of things. There’s a lot going on, and it’s only been 101 days.”
APRIL 29, 2021
Remarks by President Biden in Address to a Joint Session of Congress
“Another thing: Let’s authorize the Violence Against Women Act, which has been law for 27 years. (Applause.) Twenty-seven years ago, I wrote it. It’ll close the — the act that has to be authorized now will close the “boyfriend” loophole to keep guns out of the hands of abusers. The court order said, “This is an abuser. You can’t own a gun.” It’s to close that loophole that existed.
You know, it’s estimated that 50 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner every month in America — 50 a month. Let’s pass it and save some lives. (Applause.)
And I need not — I need not tell anyone this, but gun violence is becoming an epidemic in America.
The flag at the White House was still flying at half-mast for the 8 victims in the mass shooting in Georgia when 10 more lives were taken in a mass shooting in Colorado.
And in the week in between those two events, 250 other Americans were shot dead in the streets of America — 250 shot dead.
I know how hard it is to make progress on this issue. In the ’90s, we passed universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines that hold 100 rounds that can be fired off in seconds. We beat the NRA. Mass shootings and gun violence declined. Check out the report in over 10 years. But in the early twe- — 2000s, the law expired, and we’ve seen daily bloodshed since. I’m not saying if the law continued, we wouldn’t see bloodshed.
More than two weeks ago in the Rose Garden, surrounded by some of the bravest people I know — the survivors and families who lost loved ones to gun violence — I laid out several of the Department of Justice a- — actions that are being taken to — impact on this epidemic.
One of them is banning so-called “ghost guns.” These are homemade guns built from a kit that includes directions on how to finish the firearm. The parts have no serial numbers, so they show up at crime scenes and they can’t be traced. The buyers of these ghost gun kits aren’t required to pass any background check. Anyone, from a criminal or terrorist, could buy this kit and within 30 minutes have a weapon that’s lethal. But no more.
And I will do everything in my power to protect the American people from this epidemic of gun violence, but it’s time for Congress to act as well. (Applause.)
Look, I don’t want to become confrontational but we need more Senate Republicans to join the overwhelming majority of Democrat colleagues and close the loopholes requiring a background check on purchases of guns. We need a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. And don’t tell me it can’t be done. We did it before, and it worked.
Talk to most responsible gun owners and hunters. They’ll tell you there’s no possible justification for having 100 rounds in a weapon. What do you think — deer are wearing Kevlar vests? (Laughter.) They’ll tell you that there are too many people today who are able to buy a gun but shouldn’t be able to buy a gun.
These kinds of reasonable reforms have overwhelming support from the American people, including many gun owners. The country supports reform and is — and Congress should act.
This shouldn’t be a red or blue issue. And no amendment to the Constitution is absolute. You can’t yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater. From the very beginning, there were certain guns, weapons, that could not be owned by Americans. Certain people could not own those weapons ever.
We’re not changing the Constitution; we’re being reasonable. I think this is not a Democrat or Republican issue; I think it’s an American issue.”
APRIL 08, 2021
Remarks by President Biden on Gun Violence Prevention
“But no amendment — no amendment to the Constitution is absolute. You can’t yell crowd — you can’t tell [yell]* “fire” in a crowded movie theater and call it freedom of speech. From the very beginning, you couldn’t own any weapon you wanted to own. From the very beginning that the Second Amendment existed, certain people weren’t allowed to have weapons. So the idea is just bizarre to suggest that some of the things we’re recommending are contrary to the Constitution.
A third change: We want to treat pistols modified with stabilizing braces with the seriousness they deserve. A stabilizing brace — you’re going to (inaudible) — essentially, it makes that pistol a hell of a lot more accurate and a mini-rifle. As a result, it’s more lethal, effectively turning into a short-barreled rifle. That’s what the alleged shooter in Boulder appears to have done.
I want to be clear that these modifications to firearms that make them more lethal should be subject to the National Firearms Act. The National Firearms Act requires that a potential owner pay a $200 fee and submit their name and other identifying information to the Justice Department, just as they would if they went out and purchased a silencer for a gun.
Gun violence in America — for those of you who think of this from an economic standpoint listening to me — estimated to cost the nation $280 billion –- let me say it again — $280 billion a year. They said, “How could that be, Joe?” Hospital bills, physical therapy, trauma counseling, legal fees, prison costs, and the loss of productivity. Not to mention the psychological damage done to the children who live in these cities, watching this happen, knowing someone it happened to.
MARCH 28, 2021
Remarks by President Biden Before Air Force One Departure
Delaware Air National Guard Base
New Castle, Delaware
Q Senator Chris Murphy said today that he thinks there’s a chance to get 60 votes for a background check proposal. Are you prepared to make calls to Republicans to try to get it over the finish line?
THE PRESIDENT: Sure, I am. Of course, I am. I’m the only one that’s ever gotten it passed, man. Everybody keeps wondering whether I cared about dealing with rational gun control. The only gun control legislation ever passed was mine. It’s going to happen again.
MARCH 23, 2021
Remarks by President Biden on the Shooting in Boulder, Colorado
“We can ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in this country once again. I got that done when I was a senator. It passed. It was law for the longest time, and it brought down these mass killings. We should do it again.”