(The Center Square) – A group of bipartisan senators set a meeting Tuesday over Zoom to discuss gun control measures. The issue has been thrust back to the forefront after the tragic mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, grabbed national attention.
The House Judiciary Committee also scheduled a hearing on the Protecting Our Kids Act, a bill that could implement a range of gun control measures and would likely become a key vehicle for any efforts at a legislative gun control push in the House in the near future.
So far, legislative action in Congress has not gotten traction.
As Congress considers potential gun control laws, President Joe Biden raised eyebrows over the weekend with his own comments on firearms, hinting at a ban for certain high-capacity firearms.
“I know that it makes no sense to be able to purchase something that can fire up to 300 rounds,” Biden said. “And so there’s only one reason for something that can fire, you know, 100 shots.”
Biden referenced the recent violence as well as a conversation with a doctor during his time in the Senate who told him that more people were dying because guns had become more lethal.
Biden made the comments to reporters after exiting Air Force One Monday.
“So the idea of these high-caliber weapons is of – there’s simply no rational basis for it in terms of thinking about self-protection, hunting,” he said. “ I mean, I just … and remember, the Constitution, the Second Amendment was never absolute. You couldn’t buy a cannon when the Second Amendment was passed. You couldn’t go out and purchase a lot of weapons.”
“But the pain is palpable,” he added. “And I think a lot of it is unnecessary. So I’m going to continue to push, and we’ll see how this works.”
Biden’s remarks sparked controversy, with critics arguing proposed gun laws would not stop these kinds of shootings and would only affect Americans who actually follow the law, not criminals intent on breaking it.
Critics also pointed out the Second Amendment allowed for militias, which were not prevented from using cannons. Politifact rated Biden’s cannon claim “false.”
“Why do politicians advocate for policies they know won’t stop these horrific crimes?” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said. “It’s because their goal is disarming America.”
Biden’s remarks come after Vice President Kamala Harris called for a ban on “assault weapons.”
“We know what works on this. It includes … let’s have an assault weapons ban,” Harris said Saturday.