Time to act! Joe Biden calls for ban on assault weapons and age raise for gun purchases

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In a speech to the nation delivered from the Cross Hall of the White House, the 46th President set out how he thinks America should respond to the “carnage” caused by shootings. Mr Biden used his speech to call for tougher background checks and a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. He also voiced support for raising the minimum age to purchase guns to 21 and for repealing the liability shield which protects gun manufacturers from being sued for violence perpetrated by people carrying their weapons.

The Commander-in-Chief said: “There are too many other schools, too many other everyday places that have become killing fields, battlefields here in America.”

Biden added: “After Columbine, after Sandy Hook, after Charleston, after Orlando, after Las Vegas, after Parkland, nothing has been done.”

However, opponents of gun reforms often cite the ‘right to bear arms’ in the US constitution.

Speaking about the Second Amendment, Mr Biden said: “I respect the culture, the tradition, the concerns of lawful gun owners.

“At the same time, the Second Amendment, like all other rights, is not absolute.”

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Biden added: “This isn’t about taking away anyone’s rights. It’s about protecting children. It’s about protecting families. It’s about protecting whole communities. It’s about protecting our freedoms to go to school, to a grocery store, to a church without being shot and killed.”

The POTUS even claimed a previous ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines which was passed in 1994 led to shootings to come down.

In a tweet, Mr Biden said: “In the ten years it was law, mass shootings went down.

“After Republicans let the law expire in 2004 — and those weapons were allowed to be sold again — mass shootings tripled.”

Mr Biden said: “My fellow Americans — enough.

“It’s time for each of us to do our part. It’s time to act.

“For the children we have lost, for the children we can save, for the nation we love — let us hear the call and cry, let us meet this moment, let us finally do something.”

However, the President put pressure on Congress to enact legislation to enforce stricter gun laws.

Taking aim at Republicans, Biden said: “This time, it’s time for the Senate to do something, but, as we know, in order to get anything done in the Senate, we need a minimum of 10 Republican senators.”

He added: “But my God, the fact is the majority of the Senate Republicans don’t want any of these proposals even to be debated or come up for a vote.

“I find it unconscionable. We can’t fail the American people again.”

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The President’s intervention comes as Congress debates the ‘Protecting Our Kids Act’.

The bill is considered to be common-sense by Democrats but unconstitutional by many GOP members.

America has witnessed several mass shootings in recent weeks.

Four people were killed at a medical building in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 1.

A total of 21 people were killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on May 24 in what Mr Biden described as “another massacre”.

The school shooting in Texas came just days after a mass shooting in a grocery store in New York left 10 people dead in an attack prosecutors allege was racially-motivated.

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