WASHINGTON, D.C. (WNCN) — President Joe Biden released a statement Friday in response to Thursday’s mass shooting in Raleigh, calling once again for Congress to ban assault weapons.
He said he and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, are grieving with the Raleigh families whose loved ones were killed.
“We are thinking of yet another community shaken and shattered as they mourn the loss of friends and neighbors, including an off-duty police officer,” the president’s statement reads.
In part, the statement thanks law enforcement and first responders who responded to the scene.
The president says his administration is working closely with Gov. Roy Cooper to help with the investigation.
The president went on to call for the passing of an assault weapons ban.
“Enough. We’ve grieved and prayed with too many families who have had to bear the terrible burden of these mass shootings,” Biden said. “Too many families have had spouses, parents, and children taken from them forever.”
However, in Thursday’s mass shooting, Raleigh police did not say the suspect was armed with an assault weapon.
In the statement, the president references signing the gun safety bill into law earlier this year to stop gun violence in the U.S., but says we must do more by passing the assault weapons ban.
Republican Sen. Thom Tillis played a key role in negotiating that law, which includes funding for states to implement red flag laws, improved background checks and closes the so-called “boyfriend loophole” among other provisions.
U.S. Rep. Ted Budd (R), who is running for Senate this year, voted against that bill. At the time, he said he supported some provisions such as the enhanced background checks but overall described it as a “gun control bill” that would have “the unintended effect of infringing on the due process rights of law-abiding citizens.”
His campaign did not respond to a request for comment Friday on President Biden’s call for an assault weapons ban.
Democrat Cheri Beasley, who is running against Budd, called the bipartisan law from earlier this year “commonsense.”
When asked if she would support an assault weapons ban, her campaign referred CBS 17 to a questionnaire from the Charlotte Observer which noted she wants “combat-style weapons and high-capacity magazines” to be kept “off our streets” but did not specifically say sales should be banned.
Gov. Roy Cooper (D) said Friday that people “are sad and angry and have a lot of questions.”
He urged state lawmakers to act as well. Earlier this year, following the mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, Cooper said the General Assembly should close permitting loopholes, increase funding for mental health treatment and take other steps. Cooper also has called for a federal assault weapons ban.
“My recommendations for gun violence proposals are clear. And, as the facts come out more about what has happened, I know that everybody will look at that. And, I look forward to revisiting and continuing to push for proposals that will move us forward on this issues,” he told CBS 17 Friday.
Republican House Speaker Tim Moore’s Office declined to comment on what Gov. Cooper said Friday. Senate leader Phil Berger’s office did not reply to a request for comment. The two tweeted Thursday night that they were praying for the victims and thanked law enforcement for their response.
President Biden’s full statement is below:
Jill and I are grieving with the families in Raleigh, North Carolina, whose loved ones were killed and wounded in yet another mass shooting in America. We are thinking of yet another community shaken and shattered as they mourn the loss of friends and neighbors, including an off-duty police officer.
As we mourn with the people of Raleigh, we are grateful for the law enforcement and other first responders, including federal law enforcement who were on the scene last night and into this morning. My Administration is working closely with Governor Cooper to assist local authorities in this investigation to the fullest extent needed.
Enough. We’ve grieved and prayed with too many families who have had to bear the terrible burden of these mass shootings. Too many families have had spouses, parents, and children taken from them forever. This year, and even in just the five months since Buffalo and Uvalde, there are too many mass shootings across America, including ones that don’t even make the national news.
For the lives we’ve lost and the lives we can save, I took historic action to stop gun violence in our nation, including signing the most significant gun safety law in nearly 30 years. But we must do more. We must pass an assault weapons ban. The American people support this commonsense action to get weapons of war off our streets. House Democrats have already passed it. The Senate should do the same. Send it to my desk and I’ll sign it.
May God bless our fellow Americans we lost and their families and may He grant the wounded the strength to recover in Raleigh, North Carolina.President Joe Biden