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Biden touts administrations gun control record, again pushes for assault weapons ban

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(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden joined gun control activists Tuesday in pushing forward more initiatives to combat gun violence and trumpeted his administration’s stricter gun laws.

Biden’s prescheduled remarks at the advocacy group Everytown’s Gun Safety University conference in Washington, D.C., came hours after his son Hunter was convicted on three felony counts in his federal gun trial in Delaware.

The president did not mention his son or the case during his remarks Tuesday afternoon.

“Look, folks, you’ve helped power a movement that is turning this cause into reality,” Biden said. “Especially young people who demanded our nation do better and protect us all, who protested, who organized, who voted, who ran for office and yes, who marched for their lives. From my perspective, today is about celebrating you.”

He touted new FBI data that shows overall crime, including violent crime and murder, has fallen in the first three months of 2024 compared to the same period last year.

“The year before I came to the presidency, the murder rate was the highest increase on record. Last year, we saw the largest decrease of murder in the history of it, and those rates are continuing to fall faster than ever,” he said.

Biden later said tackling gun violence has been “a passion of mine for a long, long time,” saying he understood the pain of losing someone.

“I give you my word. I know what that feels [like], that black hole when you receive that phone call. It seems like your black hole in your chest and you’re being sucked into it. Just showing up here and all the work you’ve done takes some courage because it reminds you of the moment you got that phone call,” the president said.

During his remarks, Biden cited several of his administration’s gun control initiatives, including changing federal law to make gun trafficking and straw purchases a federal crime and strengthening gun background checks for people under 21.

“Since the law was passed and implemented, the FBI stopped more than 700 sales of firearms for individuals under 21, and about 20,000 unlicensed firearms dealers are now required to become licensed to run background checks,” the president said.

Biden calls for ban on assault weapons: ‘This time we must actually do something’
Biden noted there is still a way to go, as thousands of innocent lives are lost to gun violence each year.

The president said, in part, that it was again time to “ban assault weapons,” which he has called for the in past — including at this year’s State of the Union address.

“Who in God’s name needs a magazine which can hold 200 shells? Nobody,” Biden said Tuesday.

ABC News’ Fritz Farrow contributed to this report.

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