Biden delivers pre-planned gun safety speech after Hunter’s gun conviction

Biden delivers pre-planned gun safety speech after Hunter’s gun conviction

President Biden on Tuesday made an impassioned plea for additional measures to curb gun violence across the country, drawing a contrast with the inaction of congressional Republicans and former President Trump.

Biden delivered remarks at Everytown’s Gun Sense University in Washington, D.C., just hours after a jury in Delaware found his son, Hunter Biden, guilty of three felony counts after he lied about his use of illicit drugs when obtaining a gun in 2018, and then unlawfully possessed the firearm for 11 days.

The president was set to depart for Delaware at the conclusion of his remarks.

The timing of the president’s speech overlapping with his son’s conviction was purely coincidental. Biden made no mention of his son’s case in his remarks, instead focusing on actions he has taken in his first term to reduce gun violence and steps he has long advocated for moving forward.

“Look, no single action can solve the entirety of the gun violence epidemic. But together, our efforts, your efforts, are saving lives,” he told attendees. “We can help rally a nation with a sense of urgency and seriousness of purpose. We’re changing the culture. We’ve proven we can do more than just thoughts and prayers.”

The president highlighted passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act in 2022, which enhanced background checks for gun purchasers between the age of 18 and 21, made obtaining firearms through straw purchases or trafficking a federal offense and clarified the definition of a federally licensed firearm dealer.

He also touted his creation of a White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention, which drew roars from the crowd, and newly released FBI data showing the violent crime rate declined in early 2024.

Biden reiterated his call for Congress to institute a ban on assault weapons. He also called for universal background checks on gun purchases and for the requirement of safe storage of firearms in the home.

“Look, unfortunately…congressional Republicans oppose all of these,” he said. Every one of these.”

Biden also admonished Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, for saying earlier this year that a school shooting in Iowa was “just horrible…But we have to get over it, we have to move forward.”

“Hell no, we don’t have to get over it,” Biden said. “We’ve gotta stop it. We’ve gotta stop it and stop it now.”

Biden and his reelection campaign have increasingly tried to lean into the idea that crime is down nationwide during his presidency, seeking to combat a popular argument from Republicans that violent crime is rampant in major cities.

The campaign is also hoping to draw a clear contrast with Trump over his record on gun violence.

Trump often pledges to voters that he will protect their Second Amendment rights if reelected, and he has spoken annually at the National Rifle Association’s gatherings.

Biden’s speech on Tuesday was briefly interrupted by protesters over the violence in Gaza. Supporters drowned out the demonstrators with chants of “four more years,” though Biden acknowledged their message.

“Look, they care. Innocent children have been lost,” he said.

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