President strongly condemned the use of high-capacity assault weapons in his first public remarks on gun violence following the recent tragic shooting in Maine that resulted in the deaths of at least 18 people.
During a campaign fundraiser in Washington, D.C., Biden passionately questioned the necessity of assault weapons capable of holding up to 100 rounds.
Although Biden did not explicitly mention the Lewiston shootings, he described the situation as “outrageous.”
The suspect in the incident, identified as Robert Card, a 40-year-old firearms instructor and Army reservist, was found dead on Friday.
Law enforcement officials revealed that the alleged shooter legally purchased the assault rifle-style weapon earlier this year.
Biden has consistently urged Congress to enact legislation banning assault weapons, emphasizing the need to act in the wake of mass shootings.
In a statement, he called on congressional Republicans to collaborate with Democrats in implementing measures such as an assault weapons ban, universal background checks, safe storage requirements, and the elimination of gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability.
Biden stated, “This is the very least we owe every American who will now bear the scars — physical and mental — of this latest attack.”
However, it is highly unlikely that an assault weapons ban bill will pass through the current Congress.
When asked about an assault weapons ban, Rep. Mike Johnson, the new House speaker, disregarded the idea, attributing the issue to the human heart rather than firearms.
In response, White House spokesperson Andrew Bates accused Republicans of prioritizing the interests of the gun industry and enabling the presence of weapons of war on the streets.
The last federal ban on assault weapons was enacted in 1994, but it expired ten years later when Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress.
Last year, the Democratic-led House passed an assault weapons ban; however, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has not brought a similar bill to a vote in the Senate. Currently, the House is under Republican control.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com