President Biden renewed his calls for universal background checks and red flag laws following the shootings near Chicago this past weekend.
“This tragedy underscores why I am doing everything in my power to keep guns off our streets and out of the hands of those who seek to harm themselves or others,” Biden wrote in a statement Wednesday.
“It’s why my administration is strengthening the gun background check system and cracking down on gun trafficking through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. It’s why I’ve taken dozens of executive actions to strengthen gun safety and end the gun violence epidemic. And it’s why I continue to call on Congress to pass universal background checks and a national red flag law, in addition to other commonsense gun safety measures,” he continued.
In June 2022, Biden signed into law the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which increased funding for mental health, provided incentives for states to implement red flag laws, gave greater funding to schools for heightened security, among other reforms.
The law was a result of bipartisan negotiations following the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school shooting. Biden praised the legislation at the time, but he has continued to press for greater action.
In his statement Wednesday, he specifically expressed condolences for the lives lost in the Chicago suburb shootings this past weekend that resulted in several deaths, as he called for Congress to do more to protect communities.
“Jill and I are praying for the family members of the eight victims killed in Joliet, Illinois, and for the broader community devastated by these tragic shootings,” he wrote. “It is within our power to stop the epidemic of gun violence tearing our communities apart. Congress must act now.”