President Joe Biden again urged Congress to pass an assault weapon ban following a mass shooting over the weekend at a Colorado LGBTQ nightclub that left five people dead and 25 wounded.
Authorities have not confirmed the type of weapon used in the shooting.
While there are varying definitions of assault weapons, they generally include semi-automatic rifles with a detachable magazine and pistol grip. These types of firearms were used in numerous mass shootings this year.
“When will we decide we’ve had enough?” Biden said. “We must address the public health epidemic of gun violence in all of its forms. Earlier this year, I signed the most significant gun safety law in nearly three decades, in addition to taking other historic actions. But we must do more. We need to enact an assault weapons ban to get weapons of war off America’s streets.”
The United States had a 10-year assault weapons ban passed as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act in 1994. Congress did not renew the ban in 2004, allowing citizens to own these firearms.
Earlier this year, Congress passed a bill that included the most significant new gun control laws in decades. The bill included funds for states to implement red flag laws, family mental health spending, getting rid of the so-called “boyfriend loophole” by including those convicted of domestic abuse in background checks and funding for school-based mental health programs.
While that bill garnered some Republican support, there has been nearly universal opposition among Republicans to a renewed assault weapon ban.