President Joe Biden released a statement on Wednesday urging the Senate to take action on gun control, marking the third anniversary of the shooting massacre in El Paso, Texas in 2019.
“We will never forget the lives lost, or the courage and resilience of those injured and the loved ones they left behind,” Biden wrote. “The House recently passed a bill that would ban the weapons of war like the one the El Paso gunman and so many others have used to take and injure so many innocent lives in a matter of minutes. The Senate needs to act on that critical piece of legislation.”
The assault weapons ban, which passed the House in July, would prohibit the sale of certain high-powered weapons, including rifles, shotguns and pistols, except for specific antique and sporting models.
Republicans have already called the bill “unconstitutional” and a ploy by Democratic lawmakers to confiscate guns.
In June, Biden signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which he called the “most significant gun violence reduction legislation in 30 years.”
“I signed bipartisan legislation to improve hate crimes reporting and enhance training for law enforcement to identify and respond to hate crimes,” Biden said. “And last year, my administration laid out our country’s first-ever comprehensive effort to counter the threat posed by domestic terrorism.”
The act would also provide $250 million in funding for community-based violence prevention initiatives.
On Aug. 3, 2019, a 21-year-old extremist entered a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and opened fire, killing 22 people and injuring 26 others.
Other deadly shooting tragedies that have taken place in recent history include Uvalde, Texas, where another gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in May. Earlier that same month, an 18-year-old extremist shot and killed 10 Black people in a Buffalo, New York, supermarket.