President Biden said Saturday he will sign legislation creating a national memorial at the site of a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, where 49 people were killed five years ago.
Mr. Biden also used the anniversary of the attack at the Pulse Nightclub to call for stricter gun regulations.
“Pulse Nightclub is hallowed ground,” the president said in a statement. “But there is more we must do to address the public health epidemic of gun violence in all of its forms – mass shootings and daily acts of gun violence that don’t make national headlines.”
He said it is “long past time we close the loopholes that allow gun buyers to bypass background checks in this country, and the Senate should start by passing the three House-passed bills which would do exactly that.”
“It is long past time we ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines, establish extreme risk protection orders, also known as ‘red flag’ laws, and eliminate gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability,” Mr. Biden said.
The president further said Americans “must also acknowledge gun violence’s particular impact on LGBTQ+ communities across our nation.”
“We must drive out hate and inequities that contribute to the epidemic of violence and murder against transgender women – especially transgender women of color,” he said.
A 29-year-old lone gunman killed 49 people and wounded 53 others in the shooting, at the time the deadliest in the U.S. The gunman killed himself after a three-hour standoff with police.