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President Biden spoke in front of a Pennsylvania crowd about gun control and crime on Tuesday, renewing his call for an assault weapons ban.
Biden visited Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania to discuss his Safer America Plan to reduce crime and build on his attempt to reduce gun violence.
During the speech, Biden told the crowd that he is “determined to ban assault weapons in this country”
“I did it once before and I’ll do it again,” Biden said. In 1994, as chair of the Senate judiciary committee, Biden helped engineer the original assault weapons ban that later lapsed.
“Over 48,000 people died from gunshot wounds in 2021 in the United States of America. Over 26,000 by suicide,” Biden said.
The Safer America Plan is a $37 billion plan aimed to support law enforcement and crime prevention and “fund the police, not defund the police,” as Biden put it.
President Biden also took aim directly at Congress members who have called for the defunding of the FBI.
“It’s sickening to see the new attacks on the FBI, threatening the lives of law enforcement agents and their families for simply carrying out the law and doing their job,” he said. “I want to set it out as clear as I can. There is no place in this country, no place, for endangering the lives of law enforcement. No place, no, never, period.”
President Biden renews call for assault weapons ban
“You can’t be a party of law and order and call the people who attacked the police on January 6 ‘patriots’,” Biden said to an applauding crowd.
Showing the urgency for gun reform, Biden recalled multiple massacres from 2022, and the devastation they caused.
“More children in America die from guns than active duty police and active duty military in the United States combined,” he said.
“We have to act for those families of Buffalo, Uvalde, Newtown, El Paso, Parkland, Charleston, Las Vegas, Orlando…I’ve been to every one of those. Sat down with those parents. I spent four hours last time with every single one of the parents and families who have lost someone, and saw the looks on their faces,” Biden said.
Biden’s continued push for more law enforcement funding has received pushback from critics. Despite police departments across the country operating with their largest budget in history, 2021 was still the second deadliest year by police in recent history.
In 2021, homicides in major U.S. cities rose by 5% over 2020, and by 44% over 2019, according to the Council on Criminal Justice.
President Biden is scheduled to speak in Philadelphia Thursday evening before twice-impeached former President Trump hosts a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday.