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President Biden pushes Congress for gun control after another shooting

President Biden urged lawmakers to take action to curb gun violence after the latest shooting, saying, "Thoughts and prayers are not enough."
Posted at 3:43 PM, May 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-08 15:43:10-04

President Joe Biden has reiterated his calls for stricter gun control after the deadly shooting in Allen, Texas. In a statement, the president vowed to sign any assault weapons ban passed by Congress "immediately." He included prayers for the victims and their families, while also thanking first responders for their service.

But the main focus of President Biden's statement was urging Congress to take action to pass new gun legislation. He said he's already done what he can as president.

"Once again, I ask Congress to send me a bill banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines," he wrote. "Enacting universal background checks. Requiring safe storage. Ending immunity for gun manufacturers. I will sign it immediately. We need nothing less to keep our streets safe."

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President Biden also wrote about signing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act into law, and other progress made by way of two dozen executive actions to curb gun violence. However, he emphasized that more action is needed.

"Too many families have empty chairs at their dinner tables," he wrote. "Republican Members of Congress cannot continue to meet this epidemic with a shrug. Tweeted thoughts and prayers are not enough."

There doesn't seem to be a path forward in passing new legislation, especially with Republicans controlling the House of Representatives and Democrats in control in the Senate. The two parties have maintained their differing positions.

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Democrats in Congress have been calling for an assault weapons ban, more background checks and safe storage laws. But a lot of Democrats are pointing fingers at Republicans for not participating in the conversation. 

Rep. Nikema Williams spoke earlier this morning, saying she's willing to work with her Republican colleagues on some kind of gun reform, but she just needs them to come to the table to talk about it.

"When is it going to break through to my Republican colleagues that we have to do something?" she asked. "We are responsible for what is happening in our country as the leaders. And my colleagues on the Democratic side have been standing, waiting, ready to continue to put people over politics and do something about all of the gun violence in our country."

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On the other hand, Republicans have spoken out about trying to tackle what they view as the root problems of gun violence. Sen. Bill Cassidy told CNN he is looking to address mental health, domestic violence and gang violence. He thinks intervening in those areas will reduce gun violence. But he also noted that the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act has not been fully implemented yet and called on the Biden administration to ensure that it is.