White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday that President Biden is uninterested in pursuing tighter security at schools in the aftermath of the Uvalde massacre, an option favored by former President Donald Trump.
“I know there’s been conversation about hardening schools. That is not something that he believes in,” said Ms. Jean-Pierre at the White House briefing. “He believes that we should be able to give teachers the resources to be able to do the job.”
Republicans have proposed increasing school security and increasing spending on mental-health resources in response to the deadly May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, while Mr. Biden and Democrats have called for enacting more gun-control measures.
“He supports a ban on sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and expanded background checks to keep guns out of the dangerous hands,” said Ms. Jean-Pierre.
Mr. Trump said Friday at the National Rifle Association annual meeting in Houston that Republicans and Democrats should unite “to finally harden our schools and finally protect our children.”
“What we need is a top to bottom security overhaul at schools across our country,” Mr. Trump said. “Every building should have a single point of entry. There should be strong exterior fencing, metal detectors, and the use of new technology to make sure that no unauthorized individual can ever enter the school with a weapon.”
An 18-year-old gunman shot and killed 19 children and two teachers last week with an AR-platform rifle in Uvalde after scaling a perimeter fence and entering through a propped-open back door. He was shot and killed over an hour later by Border Patrol agents and police.
Ms. Jean-Pierre also said that Mr. Biden “does not support a ban on the sale of all handguns, to answer your question.”
Her comment came after Mr. Biden criticized the ammunition used in the popular 9mm handgun in comments Monday to reporters.
“They showed me an X-ray and said a .22-caliber bullet will lodge in a lung, and we can probably get it out and save a life. A 9mm bullet blows the lung out of the body,” Mr. Biden told reporters at the White House. “The idea these high-caliber weapons — there’s simply no rational basis for it in terms of self-protection, hunting.”
He added that the “Second Amendment was never absolute.”
• Ramsey Touchberry contributed to this report.