Less than 24 hours after the Boulder, Colorado mass shooting, Joe Biden has already called for more gun control.
Biden has asked Congress to “immediately pass” legislation that would close “loopholes” in background checks and ban the purchasing of “assault weapons” and “high capacity magazines.”
“I don’t need to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take common-sense steps that will save the lives in the future and to urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to act,” said Biden. “We can ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in this country once again.”
Biden spoke in support of two bills that have passed the house, adding that these bills would “close loopholes in the background system.”
“These are bills that received votes with both Republicans and Democrats in the House,” said Biden. “This is not and should not be a partisan issue. This is an American issue that will save lives, American lives. And we have to act. We should also ban assault weapons in the process.”
The two bills, H.R. 8 and H.R. 1446, passed the house with bipartisan support, with a handful of Republicans voting in support of both bills.
H.R 8 would expand background checks to private gun transactions, with the exception of temporarily trading and sharing firearms at shooting ranges, during hunting trips, and when it is “necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm.” Currently, only transactions conducted by licensed gun dealers, importers, or manufacturers require background checks.
H.R. 1446 would close what is dubbed the “Charleston loophole.” Currently, background checks are completed in minutes through the National Instant Criminal Background Checks System. For a small amount of people, the system cannot make a determination about the eligibility of the buyer. The FBI is required to conduct the background check if this happens and has three days to do so. If the investigation does not conclude within three days, then the gun seller can continue with the sale. This is dubbed the “Charleston loophole,” an extremely rare flaw in the system.
Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer stated the Democrat-controlled Senate will “debate and address” gun violence.
“We cannot seem to finish grieving one tragedy before another takes place,” said Schumer. “It’s a reminder that we must confront a devastating truth in the United States: an unrelenting epidemic of gun violence steals innocent lives with alarming regularity.”
Colorado law enforcement has already identified the alleged suspect in the shooting, 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa. He is charged with killing 10 victims, ranging from 20 to 65 years old. There is currently not a motive, but reports allege that the shooter hated Trump and may have been sympathetic towards ISIS