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US gun violence measures bill falls short of Biden’s expectations: White House

The White House said on Monday that the measures of curbing gun violence proposed by the Senate fall far short of the US President Joe Biden’s calls for change. However, it still called the bipartisan proposal a “historic agreement” and “the most significant legislation reducing gun violence since more than 20 years.”

A bipartisan group of US senators on Sunday proposed steps to curb gun violence following devastating mass shootings in Texas and New York. While Merrick Garland, US Attorney General, endorsed the proposal on Monday, calling it a “meaningful progress,” the White House said that it fell far short of the US President Joe Biden’s calls for change.

“The president has called on Congress to do something, they are doing something. Now, does this framework have everything that the president wants or everything that the president has called for? It does not. And the president is going to continue to fight for, to renew our ban on assault weapons,” Karine Jean-Pierre, White House Press Secretary, said.

However, at the same time, she called the bipartisan proposal a “historic agreement,” adding that “it is the most significant legislation that we have seen to reduce gun violence since more than 20 years.”

Tune in for a briefing with Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) June 13, 2022

President Joe Biden praised the proposals and urged lawmakers to quickly turn them into legislation, while reiterating that the measures do not go far enough.

Congress needs to:

– Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines
– Strengthen background checks
– Enact safe storage laws and red flag laws
– Repeal gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability

We can’t fail the American people again.

— President Biden (@POTUS) June 11, 2022

“Obviously, it does not do everything that I think is needed, but it reflects important steps in the right direction, and would be the most significant gun safety legislation to pass Congress in decades,” he said in a statement. “With bipartisan support, there are no excuses for delay, and no reason why it should not quickly move through the Senate and the House.”

Increasing pressure

The shootings in May – one at a Texas elementary school that killed 19 young children and two teachers, and another at a New York supermarket that left 10 Black people dead – have piled pressure on politicians to take action.

Republican lawmakers, who have repeatedly blocked tougher measures, are still resisting major changes to gun regulations, instead of pointing to mental health issues as the root of the problem.

However, the new framework notably has backing from at least 10 Republicans, meaning it has a strong chance of earning the supermajority of 60 votes needed to advance in the 100-seat US Senate.

The reforms include tougher background checks for gun buyers under 21, increasing resources for states to keep weapons out of the hands of people deemed a risk, and adding domestic violence convictions and restraining orders to the national background check database.

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