President Biden on Tuesday urged lawmakers to pass three bills aimed at tackling gun violence in remarks commemorating the ninth anniversary of the massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
Mr. Biden said the Senate must quickly pass the three measures, which have cleared the House. The first bill would expand background checks, the second would prohibit guns for domestic abusers and the third is Mr. Biden’s $1.75 trillion climate and spending bill, which allocates $5 billion for community violence intervention.
“As a nation, we owe all of these families more than our prayers, we owe them actions,” the president said in a prerecorded message.
He did not signal any new actions he would take to combat gun violence but emphasized the need for Congress to act.
“There are three common-sense bills to reduce gun violence that the Senate should pass now, right away. Long overdue,” Mr. Biden said. “I know our politics are frustrating and can be frustrating and it’s particularly frustrating now. But we can’t give up hope, we can’t stop.”
Mr. Biden also referred to the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and last month’s shooting at a high school in Oxford, Michigan, saying such incidents “embarrass us as a nation.”
He also expressed frustration that Congress did not pass several gun proposals, including one that would have expanded background checks and another that would have banned assault weapons, in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting.
“We came close to legislation, but we came up short. It was so darn frustrating. And it’s still frustrating now for you and me and so many others,” he said. “We have to keep up the pressure.”
The administration on Tuesday also released a fact sheet highlighting the work it has done to combat gun violence, including cracking down on ghost guns and helping states enact red flag laws.
Adam Lanza killed 26 people, including 20 first-graders, in a mass shooting at the elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012. Lanza then killed himself.
“No matter how long it’s been, every one of those families relives the news they got that day. Twenty precious first-graders, six heroic educators, a lone gunman, and an unconscionable act of violence. Everything changed that morning for you and the nation was shocked,” Mr. Biden said.
He said the shooting, which occurred while he was vice president in the Obama administration, was “one of the saddest days we were in office.”