Biden Doesn’t Support Ban on All Handgun Sales: White House

Katabella Roberts
By Katabella Roberts
June 1, 2022USshare
Biden Doesn’t Support Ban on All Handgun Sales: White House
President Joe Biden speaks to guests during a visit to POET Bioprocessing in Menlo, Iowa, on April 12, 2022. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden “does not support a ban on all handguns” but does support a ban on the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines as well as expanded background checks, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday.

Jean-Pierre made the comments in response to questions from reporters regarding whether or not the president would support legislation similar to that of Canada that would make it impossible to buy, sell, transfer, or import handguns anywhere in that country.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday introduced legislation that would implement a “national freeze” on handgun owners and propose stricter sentences for gun smugglers and traffickers.

Jean-Pierre said Biden believes that “the United States needs to act,” and that he”supports a ban on sales of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and expanded background checks to keep guns out of dangerous hands,” but “not support a ban on the sale of all handguns.”

Jean-Pierre’s answer also comes a day after Biden suggested he wanted to ban 9mm handguns in remarks to reporters at the White House’s South Lawn.

As he visited Texas over the weekend, officials “showed me an x-ray … he said, ‘a 22-caliber bullet will lodge in a lung and we can probably get it out … and maybe save a life. A 9mm bullet, blows the lung out of the body,’” Biden said.

“So the idea that these high caliber weapons—there’s simply no rational basis for it in terms of self-protection, hunting–and remember, the Constitution, the Second Amendment was never absolute,” he said.

President Joe Biden speaks to reporters outside the White House in Washington, on May 30, 2022. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

It’s not clear why Biden was making reference to 9mm ammunition, which is primarily used in handguns, not rifles—or if he was confused with another cartridge caliber.

Uvalde Shooting

Trudeau’s legislation came shortly after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24 in which 19 children and two adults were killed. At least 17 others, including children, sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

The suspect, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos had purchased two semi-automatic rifles separately, on May 17 and May 20, just after his birthday, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) confirmed on May 25 in a briefing to Texas state senators, reported KHOU.

He had also purchased 375 rounds of 5.56 ammunition on May 18, according to ATF authorities.

Ramos was shot and killed by a Border Patrol agent after opening fire inside the school.

People visit a makeshift memorial for the 21 victims of an elementary school mass shooting in the town square in Uvalde, Texas, on May 29, 2022. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

The mass shooting, the 27th such shooting to have taken place in the U.S. this year alone, has sparked a renewed debate over stricter gun-reform legislation.

Jean-Pierre was asked on Tuesday what steps Biden is taking with regards to the newly-revived debate surrounding guns, to which she said the president is in “close contact with key members of Congress on negotiations.”

Bipartisan negotiations are currently underway in Congress regarding gun control legislation in response to recent mass shootings.

“What the president is going to continue to do, as he’s done from the first few days that he walked into the office, is to ask Congress to act,” the press secretary said.

“And so, we’re going to continue to have those conversations. He’s going to do everything that he can to make that happen. We have to stop this gun violence epidemic that we’re seeing.”

The latest comments from the White House come after a bloody Memorial Day weekend in the U.S. that left multiple people dead and dozens more injured due to a string of shootings.

Some 352 shootings occurred across Saturday, Sunday, and the federal holiday on Monday, according to the nonprofit research organization, the Gun Violence Archive (GVA).

In total, there have been 230 mass shootings in the United States in 2022, according to GVA, while approximately 17,911 people have died from gun violence in America.

Canadian Legislation

Elsewhere on Monday, Trudeau said the new legislation, Bill C-21, also proposes taking away the firearms licenses of those involved in acts of domestic violence or criminal harassment, such as stalking.

The legislation would also allow law enforcement to seek wiretap powers if they have reasonable grounds to believe that an individual is in possession of a firearm for which he or she doesn’t have a proper license.

The government will also require long-gun magazines to be permanently altered so they can never hold more than five rounds.

However, Conservative MP and public safety critic Raquel Dancho said the new firearms bill won’t do much to reduce gun violence across the nation and instead negatively impacts law-abiding gun owners.

“Despite years of more gun control, bans, buybacks, and nearly a billion dollars spent, gun violence continues to go up in Canada,” Dancho said on Twitter on May 31.

“Today Trudeau doubled down on his failed approach and again promised Canadians it will keep them safe. It won’t, just as it hasn’t for years.”

With reporting by Jack Phillips.

From The Epoch Times

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