- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden on Wednesday released a video that slammed President Trump for repeatedly backpedaling on increased federal background checks for purchasing firearms.

The video featured clips of Mr. Trump voicing support for background checks and then reversing his position each time following mass shootings last year in Florida and this month in Texas and Ohio.

Mr. Biden, the front-runner in the Democratic presidential race, accused Mr. Trump of kowtowing to the National Rifle Association and boasted that he had previously beaten the NRA twice to pass tough gun laws.

Kate Bedingfield, deputy manager of the Biden campaign, called Mr. Trump’s gun control reversals “an extremely disturbing pattern.”

“In the wake of some of these unspeakable attacks, President Trump — who has abused his power to foment hate and division for political gain — first indicates that he plans to pursue modest reforms, then quickly rushes back to parroting the NRA’s corrupt rhetoric and reveals that he actually has no intention of following through. It’s unacceptable and Americans deserve better,” she said in a statement announcing the release of the video.

Mr. Trump this week dropped his support for increased background checks after a vacation at his New Jersey golf resort that included a phone call with NRA officials.

White House officials insisted the background checks were not off the table, as some news outlets reported.

Mr. Trump also has voiced support for measures to address mental health issues that contribute to gun violence, including “red flag” laws that allow authorities to temporarily remove firearms from people deemed a threat to themselves or others.

Calls for more background checks and other gun control measures intensified after back-to-back mass shooting this month in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that killed a total of 31 people.

The Biden campaign video ended with bold script across the screen that read: “Joe Biden has beat the NRA twice and will do it again.”

As a senator from Delaware, Mr. Biden helped pass the 1994 bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines that expired in 2004 and the 1993 Brady bill that mandated federal background checks.

During his time as President Barack Obama’s sidekick, however, the administration failed in its attempt to pass stricter background checks following the 2012 mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

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