President Joe Biden said that more gun laws should be passed in Congress after a shooting in Sacramento left at least six people dead and more injured over the weekend.
In response to the shooting, Biden said that Congress needs to “ban ghost guns,” although there is no evidence that a “ghost gun”—an unserialized and untraceable firearm that can be assembled after purchasing components online—was used during the Sacramento incident.
“Require background checks for all gun sales. Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines,” he also said, without elaborating on what he means by an assault weapon or high-capacity magazine.
Some elected officials have suggested a high-capacity magazine is one that holds 10 rounds or more, but others say it’s seven rounds or more.
Meanwhile, some firearms proponents have said the term assault weapon is intentionally misleading and vague, while others have said that a ban on “assault weapons” would entail banning nearly all semiautomatic rifles and pistols. Fully automatic firearms haven’t been available for purchase in the United States since 1986 when Congress passed the Firearm Owners Protection Act.
“Repeal gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability. Pass my budget proposal, which would give cities more of the funding they need to fund the police and fund the crime prevention and intervention strategies that can make our cities safer. These are just a few of the steps Congress urgently needs to take to save lives,” Biden said.
The state of California, meanwhile, has among the strictest gun laws in the United States. The state already enacted a ban on ghost guns, it requires background checks for all gun sales, the state has also banned “assault” weapons—which applies to many semiautomatic firearms—for decades, and it has a ban on magazines that contain 10 or more rounds. A court in 2019 deemed California’s magazine ban unconstitutional, although that ruling was placed on hold while the case is being appealed.
Along with Biden, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, also a Democrat, reacted to the shooting in California’s capital city.
“Sadly, we once again mourn the lives lost and for those injured in yet another horrendous act of gun violence,” Newsom said in a statement Sunday. “Jennifer (Newsom’s wife) and I send our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and to the wider community impacted by this terrible tragedy.”
Previously, the governor has called for more gun control provisions and in February, threw his support behind a bill that would allow California residents to file lawsuits against firearms manufacturers and distributors.
“It’s time to go on the offensive with new measures that empower individuals to hold irresponsible and negligent gun industry actors to account, crack down on shameful advertising that targets our kids and more,” he said earlier this year.