Biden calls for Congress to pass stricter gun laws on anniversary of Parkland mass shooting

President Joe Biden speaks as he meets with Senators from both parties in the White House on Feb. 11, 2021.

Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Sunday called on Congress to strengthen gun laws on the third anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

“Today, as we mourn with the Parkland community, we mourn for all who have lost loved ones to gun violence,” Biden said in a statement released by the White House.

The president called for several provisions including background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and eliminating legal immunity for gun manufacturers.

“This Administration will not wait for the next mass shooting to heed that call. We will take action to end our epidemic of gun violence and make our schools and communities safer,” Biden said. “We owe it to all those we’ve lost and to all those left behind to grieve to make a change.”

Fourteen students and three staff members were killed in the Parkland shooting. The student survivors started the March for Our lives movement in support of gun control legislation.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement on Sunday that Congress would work with the Biden administration to enact two background check bills. The House passed the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and the Enhanced Background Checks Act during the last Congress.

“On this solemn remembrance, Democrats join the American people to renew our commitment to our unfinished work to ensure that no family or community is forced to endure the pain of gun violence,” Pelosi said. “We will not rest until all Americans, in schools, in the workplace, in places of worship and throughout our communities are safe, once and for all.”

Susan Rice, the head of the White House Domestic Policy Council, and Cedric Richmond, a senior advisor to Biden, hosted a virtual meeting last week with leaders of gun violence prevention advocacy groups to discuss how to reduce gun violence.

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