- Sunday marks the third anniversary of the Parkland mass shooting that resulted in 17 people dead.
- Joe Biden addressed the three-year anniversary, calling on Congress to pass gun control measures.
- “We will take action to end our epidemic of gun violence and make our schools and communities safer,” Biden said.
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On Sunday, the third anniversary of the Parkland shooting, President Joe Biden urged lawmakers to propose and pass gun reform laws to “make a change” in the United States.
A lone gunman armed with an AR-15 opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, 2018, killing 17 students and staff members.
Biden, in a Sunday statement from the White House, promised that his administration will act to reform gun control laws and “will not wait for the next mass shooting to heed that call.”
“We will take action to end our epidemic of gun violence and make our schools and communities safer,” Biden said. “Today, I am calling on Congress to enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets.”
“We owe it to all those we’ve lost and to all those left behind to grieve to make a change,” his statement continued. “The time to act is now.”
In 2019, Biden said he would institute a buyback program to get assault weapons “off the street.”
“That’s not walking into their home, walking through their door and going through the gun cabinets, etc.,” Biden said. “Right now, there is no legal way to deny them the right if they legally purchased them, but we can in fact make a major effort to get them off the street and out of the possession of people.”
High-level members of the Biden administration met with gun control advocacy groups last week to discuss reforms to gun laws, the Wall Street Journal reported. The president, however, has not pushed out an executive action to address gun control legislation.
Parents of Parkland survivors were at the meeting, according to the Journal.
The administration “listened to the families share about the loved ones they lost and the work they’ve pursued since to honor them,” a White House official said.
Several teenaged survivors like David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez, as well as their parents, became prominent activists pushing for stricter gun control measures.
“Over these three years, the Parkland families have taught all of us something profound,” Biden said in his Sunday statement. “Time and again, they have showed us how we can turn our grief into purpose – to march, organize, and build a strong, inclusive, and durable movement for change.”
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