Biden invoked July 4 last year when a gunman in Highland Park, Illinois used an assault rifle to kill seven people during a holiday parade. Over the next year, state lawmakers worked to prevent further mass shootings, successfully banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines across Illinois in January.
While efforts by lawmakers will save lives, Biden said, « much more needs to be done in Illinois and across America to address the epidemic of gun violence that is tearing our communities apart. »
Biden has been a staunch advocate for tougher gun laws, saying in early May that he would « immediately » sign new gun legislation into law following a deadly shooting in Allen, Texas. In March, the president tried to sidestep Congress into tougher gun measures, signing an executive order aimed at expanding background checks.
In addition to bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, Biden on Tuesday called for requirements for safe gun storage, an end to gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability, and universal background checks.
« I urge other states to follow Illinois’ lead and continue to call on Republican lawmakers in Congress to come to the table on meaningful, common-sense reforms that the American people support, » he said.
An overwhelming percentage of Americans support more gun restrictions, according to a FoxNews Poll released in April. This includes 87% of respondents supporting requiring criminal background checks for all gun buyers, and 61% supporting a ban on assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons.
Numerous gun measures have repeatedly stalled in Congress in recent decades, although legislation passed in June 2022 and signed into law by Biden that was intended to keep guns out of the hands of people suffering from mental health crises.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.