President Biden called for swift action on gun control legislation to ban assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines in the wake of a pair of mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder, Colorado.
Biden addressed the country from the White House after the Boulder incident, saying he was “devastated” about the grocery store shooting that left 10 dead, including one police officer.
“This is not and should not be a partisan issue — it is an American issue. We have to act,” he said.
According to the Denver Post, Officer Eric Talley and two other officers charged into the grocery store and confronted the gunman. The confrontation ended the shooting rampage against civilians, but resulted in Talley’s death.
Talley, 51, was the first officer killed in the line of duty in Boulder since 2010.
Biden offered his condolences to the fallen officer’s family, saying, “When he pinned on that badge yesterday morning, he didn’t know what the day would bring. I want everybody to think about this.”
Biden did not comment on the details of the attack but said he had spoken to Governor Jared Polis of Colorado, Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray and would continue his consultations with them.
The Boulder incident came less than a week after eight people were murdered by another gunman in Atlanta. Biden’s message about gun control was in response to the back-to-back shootings. According to the New York Times, the shootings mark a shift in the Biden administration’s focus on tighter gun control.
Biden called on the Senate to swiftly pass two House bills, passed earlier this year and first introduced in 2018. The bills — which were a response to the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida — extend background checks to private sellers and extend the time limit to conduct checks on purchasers.
In his remarks, Biden added that it was wrong “to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take common-sense steps that will save lives in the future.”