President Biden on Monday marked the fourth anniversary of the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, by urging Congress to provide $500 million for community policing initiatives that reduce gun crime and new funding for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and U.S. Marshals Service.
He also told lawmakers to pass provisions that haven’t generated sufficient support in the past, including background checks on all gun sales; a ban on “assault” weapons and high-capacity magazines; and legislation that removes legal immunity for gun manufacturers.
“We can never bring back those we’ve lost. But we can come together to fulfill the first responsibility of our government and our democracy: to keep each other safe,” Mr. Biden said. “For Parkland, for all those we’ve lost, and for all those left behind, it is time to uphold that solemn obligation.”
The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018, left 14 students and three teachers dead.
“It was the deadliest high school shooting in a nation with far too many of them, and it left another community — and our country — shattered by grief,” Mr. Biden said.
Mr. Biden recounted efforts his administration is taking in an effort to reduce gun violence, including a crackdown on privately made “ghost” guns that lack commercial serial numbers and the issuance of template legislation for states that want to prevent dangerous people from owning a firearm through “extreme risk” orders.
The president also hailed students who led the “March for Our Lives” demonstration against gun violence after the Parkland shooting.
“Out of the heartbreak of Parkland, a new generation of Americans all across the country marched for our lives and towards a better, safer America for us all,” Mr. Biden said. “Together, this extraordinary movement is making sure that the voices of victims and survivors and responsible gun owners are louder than the voices of gun manufacturers and the National Rifle Association.”