President Joe Biden on Tuesday urged Congress to act on gun-control measures in the wake of two recent deadly mass shootings, saying it should not be a partisan issue.
“It will save lives, American lives,” Biden said in brief remarks at the White House. The president spoke hours after a Monday shooting at a Colorado supermarket killed 10 people — the second mass killing in less than a week, following the March 16 shooting that left eight people dead at three Atlanta-area massage businesses.
Biden specifically called on the Senate to pass two House bills that would close loopholes in firearm background checks. He also pressed for banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer promised that his chamber would take up gun legislation, but did not say when. “This Senate is going to debate and address the epidemic of gun violence in this country,” the New York Democrat pledged as lawmakers began their Tuesday session.
The two House-passed bills, meanwhile, almost certainly would not clear the 60-vote threshold needed to overcome a filibuster in the Senate.
The president’s statement came as he is heading for Ohio, where he plans to showcase health-insurance cost-cuts in a speech. As the Associated Press writes, his COVID-19 relief law pumps up Obamacare premium subsidies to address longstanding problems of affordability, particularly for people with solid middle-class incomes.
Shares of gun and ammunition companies were mixed Tuesday after Biden spoke. For gun makers, Sturm Ruger & Co.’s
stock fell 2.1% in afternoon trading while Smith & Wesson Brands Inc.
shares rose 0.4%. Ammunition and shooting accessories company Vista Outdoor Inc.’s stock fell 1.7%.