Statement by President Joe Biden on Passage of Delaware Assault Weapons Ban and Other Gun Safety Legislation
In the wake of the horrific massacres in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, the families of the fallen had one message for all of us: Do something. Do something to prevent this carnage and make our communities safer. I again called for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, stronger background checks, and a host of other commonsense measures to protect our fellow Americans.
I’m proud that my home state of Delaware—“the First State”—has become one of the very first states in recent weeks to answer that call and take decisive action to reduce gun violence. Yesterday, the Delaware state legislature passed a historic assault weapons ban, strict limits on high-capacity magazines, and legislation to significantly improve background checks. The legislature has also taken up several other critical gun safety bills, including a bill to make it easier to hold gun manufacturers accountable for how they market and sell weapons of war
These are reasonable measures, supported by the vast majority of Americans. And they work. In the decade after Congress passed the 1994 ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines—with bipartisan support in Congress and the backing of law enforcement—mass shootings went down. But after Republicans let the law expire in 2004 and those weapons were allowed to be sold again, mass shootings tripled. Those are the facts, and they should inspire us to action.
I have already taken more executive action to curb gun crime than any other President during their first year in office. States like Delaware, thanks to the leadership of Governor John Carney and the State Legislature, continue to lead the way in protecting their people. But a national crisis demands a national response, and it’s past time for Congress to do the right thing. As a step in the right direction, I urge the United States Senate to pass a meaningful bipartisan gun safety bill without delay. This is an issue of conscience and common sense. We must meet this moment.