President Biden plans to call on Congress to “take weapons of war off our streets” when he visits Buffalo, New York, on Tuesday to address the racially motivated mass shooting that targeted a Black community in the city.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the president would also call the shooting an act of “terrorism motivated by hateful and perverse ideology that tears at the soul of our nation.”
Ten people were killed and three people were injured in Saturday’s attack at a Tops supermarket.
Authorities said the 18-year-old shooter, Payton Gendron, who is White, was motivated by racial animus when he targeted shoppers at the grocery store in a predominantly Black neighborhood.
Mr. Gendron is believed to have posted a 180-page manifesto online that outlined a self-described White supremacist ideology motivating the attack, including his fears of a “complete racial and cultural replacement of the European people.”
Mr. Biden and first lady Jill Biden are scheduled to meet with families of the victims, law enforcement, and first responders before delivering his remarks from a Buffalo community center.
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Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Brian Higgins, all Democrats from New York, are traveling with the president to Buffalo.
The shooting spurred congressional Democrats to reinvigorate legislation to tackle domestic terrorism with more federal resources.
After being stalled last month, Democrats are advancing a bill that would create domestic terrorism units in the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department.
Members of the far-left “Squad” opposed the legislation over concerns that the federal government lacks a clear definition of what constitutes a domestic terrorist.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, said in a statement following the shooting in Buffalo that the House will consider additional measures to “strengthen efforts to combat domestic terrorism.”
Republicans raised concerns about Mr. Biden’s focus on domestic terrorism, which they say has become a political effort to target conservatives.