President Joe Biden called for a nationwide ban on “assault weapons” during his State of the Union Address Tuesday night and used Monterey Park hero Brandon Tsay for the push.
Biden referenced Tsay while calling for the ban, saying, “He saved lives. It’s time we do the same as well.” Tsay, 26, took down the Monterey Park gunman who killed 11 people following a Chinese Lunar New Year dance festival, later telling reporters “something came over” him.
“He thought he was going to die, but then he thought about the people inside. In that instant, he found the courage to act and wrestled the semi-automatic pistol away from a gunman who had already killed 11 people at another dance studio,” Biden said. “Ban assault weapons now.”
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During the speech, Biden also referenced the parents who lost their children in Uvalde, Texas, saying they believe it is time to “do something on gun violence.”
Bided touted his own record on gun laws after referencing the Uvalde parent’s request, saying, “Thank God we did, passing the most sweeping gun safety law in three decades.”
“That includes things that the majority of responsible gun owners support, like enhanced background checks for 18 to 21-year-olds and red flag laws keeping guns out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves and others,” Biden continued.
In June, Joe Biden signed the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act,” saying it was “the most significant law” on the topic “in the last 30 years.” The law provides funding for crisis intervention programs to be used for “red flag” programs and mental health courts.
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The law also addressed “the boyfriend loophole,” blocking individuals convicted of a domestic violence crime from owning a gun even if they didn’t live with their victim. Additionally, the law expanded background checks for individuals between 18-21 years old.
Following multiple mass shooting in January, Biden pledged to continue his goal of banning “assault weapons,” saying that there is no “social redeeming value” to owning “assault weapons” because deer do not wear “Kevlar vests,” according to the president’s remarks at the National Action Network’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast.
Biden further questioned why Americans need so many bullets, saying “ban the number of bullets that can go in a magazine. No, no need for any of that.”
Despite Biden’s call for an “assault weapons” ban, a majority of Americans do not support banning such firearms, according to a recent poll. Of 1,003 adults, 51% said they opposed a ban, a 10-point increase from 2019, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Monday.
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Support for an “assault weapons” ban steadily declined from 2019, to 47% in 2023, as the public is undecided on whether or not making it harder to get guns would reduce mass shootings, according to the poll.
Biden closed his call for an “assault weapons” ban by saying, “We did it before. I led the fight to ban them in 1994. In the 10 years the ban was law, mass shootings went down. After Republicans let it expire, mass shootings tripled. Let’s finish the job and ban assault weapons again.”
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