- In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, the former Vice President said he was determined to get assault weapons off the streets by reinstating the Assault Weapons Ban.
- As a former US Senator, he ushered the ban through Congress as part of the controversial 1994 crime bill, but the law expired in 2004 and was not renewed under the Bush administration.
- Biden clarified that he doesn’t have the intention to confiscate previously-owned assault weapons, he does plan on establishing a national buyback program and "get them off the street."
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Following two mass shootings that took over 30 lives this past weekend, 2020 presidential frontrunner and former Vice President Joe Biden said that assault weapons "should be illegal. Period."
In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Biden said he was determined to get assault weapons off the streets by reinstating the Assault Weapons Ban, a measure that he ushered through Congress as part of the controversial 1994 crime bit that "sunsetted" in 2004 under the Bush administration.
"The second amendment doesn’t say you can’t restrict the kinds of weapons people own," Biden said. "You can’t buy a bazooka or a flamethrower."
When asked by Cooper if "a Biden administration means they will come for my guns," he simply responded, "Bingo," adding, "You’re right if you have an assault weapon."
Biden then clarified that he doesn’t have the intention to confiscate previously-owned assault weapons, however, he does plan on establishing a national buyback program to "get them off the street."
"That’s not walking into their home, walking through their door and going through the gun cabinets, etc.," Biden said. "Right now, there is no legal way to deny them the right if they legally purchased them, but we can in fact make a major effort to get them off the street and out of the possession of people."
This isn’t the first time that Biden has called for a ban on assault type weapons. In response to a 2016 petition calling for a ban on civilian ownership of assault weapons, the then-vice president said that he and his presidential counterpart Barack Obama agreed. The message came shortly after the mass shooting in an Orlando night club that claimed 49 lives.
"Right now, these weapons are on the shelves in gun shops around the country, completely legal for civilians to purchase," Biden said back in 2016. "They can be purchased in a matter of mere minutes."
"That should not be so," he said.
Biden continues to echo the same message now during his own presidential campaign bid, asking if it made any sense that "someone is able to walk into a gun store" and "buy an assault weapon that has multiple rounds," putting "more of them on the street."
Biden told CNN that, in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, former President Obama asked him to put together a series of initiatives regarding gun legislation reform including extensive background checks. The initiatives were eventually issued by executive orders signed by Obama that were later "wiped out" by Congress during the Trump administration, Biden said.
Although those initiatives weren’t passed during the Obama administration, the 2020 presidential candidate believes they are likely to pass under his administration "because the world has changed."
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