Biden Repeats Call for Assault Weapons Ban Following 199th Mass Shooting

May 7, 2023

President Biden on Sunday again called on Congress to pass an assault weapons ban, following a mass shooting at a shopping mall outside Dallas.

Eight people were killed and seven others wounded when a gunman opened fire at a shopping mall Saturday in Allen, Texas. The gunman is also dead after being fired on by police. 

It was the 199th mass shooting in the United States this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive which defines the crime as four or more people killed or injured by gunfire. 

Since the shooting at the Texas mall, there have also been at least three more mass shootings this weekend, bringing the total to 202. Sunday was the 127th day of the year. 

In a statement Sunday, Biden said, “Once again I ask Congress to send me a bill banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Enacting universal background checks. Requiring safe storage. Ending immunity for gun manufacturers. I will sign it immediately. We need nothing less to keep our streets safe.”

Adding, “Tweeted thoughts and prayers are not enough,” the President also said in his statement, “Too many families have empty chairs at their dinner tables. Republican Members of Congress cannot continue to meet this epidemic with a shrug.”

Since taking office, Biden has repeatedly called on Congress to reinstate the assault weapons ban that he helped pass in 1994 as a Senator, but which lapsed in 2004.

“I have done the full extent of my executive authority to do on my own anything about guns,” Biden said on March 28 following a mass shooting at a Christian school in Nashville in which the shooter killed six people, including three 9-year-olds. “Congress has to act,” he’d insisted. 

On Sunday afternoon, police identified the Allen, Texas gunman as 33-year-old Mauricio Garcia. A photo from the scene obtained by CNN shows what appears to be the gunman lying on the ground after being shot, with an AR-15-style firearm nearby. He is clad in black body armor and appears to have several extra magazines strapped to his chest.

Authorities have not released a motive, but according to reports, a patch on his chest said “RWDS,” an acronym that stands for Right Wing Death Squad—a phrase popular among right wing extremists, neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

“Yesterday, an assailant in tactical gear armed with an AR-15 style assault weapon gunned down innocent people in a shopping mall, and not for the first time. Such an attack is too shocking to be so familiar,” Biden’s statement went on to say.

Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott (R) on Sunday called for addressing mental health issues in the wake of the shopping mall shooting, saying on Fox News Sunday, “We’ve seen an increased number of shootings in states with easy gun laws as well as states with very strict gun laws.”

He was responding to a new Fox News Poll which found that the American public overwhelmingly supports more restrictive gun laws, including 61% of those who responded saying they favor banning assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons, while only 45% said they would encourage more citizens to carry guns to defend against attackers.

PHOTO: Allen, TX Dashcam Video

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