US President Joe Biden has called for a ban on assault weapons, on Tuesday while speaking about the mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, that left 10 people dead on Monday.
This is the second time in a week that Biden has had to speak out after a mass shooting.
“Ten lives have been lost and more families have been shattered by gun violence in the state of Colorado,” Biden said. “Jill and I are devastated and I just can’t imagine how the families are feeling, the victims whose futures were stolen from them, from their families, from their loved ones, who now have to struggle to go and to make sense of what happened.”
Biden said he would not comment on the motives or details of what had happened, preferring to wait until more is known, but he focused on gun control in his comments.
“While we’re still waiting for more information regarding the shooter, his motive, the weapons he used, the guns, the magazines, the modifications that have apparently taken place to those weapons that are involved here,” he said, “I don’t need to wait another minute, let alone an hour to take commonsense steps that will save lives in the future. I urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to act.”
“We can ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines in this country once again. We should do it again,” the president added.
The shootings in Boulder came the day before a planned Senate hearing on “constitutional and commonsense steps to reduce gun violence”, chaired by Dick Durbin, a senator from Illinois.
Durbin said he had rewritten his opening remarks several times, as each time he thought he was done, another incident occurred.
“Last night, I was putting the finishing touches on my statement and questions and there was another unspeakable mass shooting. This time in a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado,” he said.
Durbin called gun violence an “epidemic”.
Former president Barack Obama also issued a statement calling for change.
“We can overcome opposition by cowardly politicians and the pressure of a gun lobby that opposes any limit on the ability of anyone to assemble an arsenal,” the former president said. “We can and we must.”
Biden said he would take every step possible to help to save lives in the future.
“As president, I can use all the resources at my disposal to keep the American people safe,” he said.