President Joe Biden swiftly called for increased restrictions on gun ownership following a shooting at a Nashville, Tennessee elementary school this week.
Biden’s comments came after an alleged former student shot and killed three children and three adults at The Covenant School, a Christian institution Monday.
Biden made the comments during the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Women’s Business Summit.
The president called the shooting “sick” and said that “we’re still gathering the facts of what happened and why.” He then said that “we have to do more to stop gun violence.”
Biden said that shootings were “ripping our communities apart, ripping the soul of this nation.”
He said that Congress should pass an assault weapons ban, adding that it was “about time that we begin to make some more progress.”
The president also said that teachers and students “should be focusing on their mental health, as well.”
Biden’s comments came after police shot and killed the suspect in the Nashville school shooting. The president incorrectly stated that the shooter had two AK-47s during the event.
Police have announced that they have a potential “manifesto” written by the suspect, Audrey Hale, who has been identified by media as a former student of the school and transgender.
Police said that the shooter likely had seven firearms, of which at least two were purchased legally. Hale reportedly had three weapons during the shooting, and police found at least two at Hale’s home.
The current proposed Assault Weapons Ban of 2023 was introduced in January by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). The new bill would restrict ownership of a number of firearms, including those based on or similar to the AR-15 platform.
How much hormones like testosterone and medications for mental illness was the transgender Nashville school shooter taking?
Everyone can stop blaming guns now.
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) March 27, 2023
The close division of the senate makes the passage of the bill less likely. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), a potential key vote, has signaled some support for gun control. Manchin said last year that he wanted the age to own a semiautomatic rifle raised from 18 to 21.
As a senator from Delaware, Biden backed the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which ended in 2004. The ban barred or restricted members of the public owning of a number of common firearms.