President Biden called on Congress to enact “commonsense” gun law reforms in a Sunday statement vowing a proactive approach from his administration on the third anniversary of the Parkland school shooting.
Commemorating the 14 lives lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018, Biden vowed that his administration “will not wait for the next mass shooting” to heed change to the country’s gun laws.
Biden called on Congress to enact “commonsense gun laws” that Democrats have long pushed for, including requiring background checks for 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.”
“We owe it to those we’ve lost and to all those left behind to grieve to make a change,” wrote Biden, adding: “The time to act is now.”
Biden also referenced the well-documented rise in homicides across major U.S. cities last year—“including the gun violence disproportionately devastating Black and Brown individuals in our city”—in his statement. “We mourn for all those who have lost loved ones to gun violence,” wrote Biden.
Biden campaigned on these gun control reforms, which have already drawn the ire of gun advocacy groups like the National Rifle Association. An NRA representative recently told the Wall Street Journal that Biden “may become the most antigun president in American history.” Former President Trump, who was in office during the Parkland shooting, initially said he would confront the gun lobby in the tragedy’s aftermath, but ultimately backed away from any commitments to broad reform.