White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre dodged a question Wednesday on whether President Biden’s proposed “assault weapons” ban will lead to the confiscation of millions of semi-automatic rifles from law-abiding Americans.
Biden on Tuesday renewed his call for an “assault weapons” ban, claiming there is a “moral price to pay for inaction” by Republican lawmakers who oppose such a measure after a 28-year-old transgender former student allegedly gunned down three 9-year-olds and three adults at a Christian private school in Nashville, Tennessee, on Monday.
Jean-Pierre was asked during her daily press briefing whether the president supported “not just banning the sale and the manufacture of semi-automatic weapons, but further than that, confiscation.”
“Let me just be very clear,” the press secretary responded. “What we're talking about, AR15s, this assault weapons ban, they are weapons of war, and they not be on the streets across the country in our communities. They should not be in schools. They should not be in grocery stores. They should not be in churches. That's what the president believes, and he has done more than any other president the first two years on the executive order.”
“As you know, we all know how government works,” Jean-Pierre continued. “There's only so much that he can do. And so now it's time for Congress to do the work. And he's happy to sign, once that happens, he's happy to sign that legislation that says, ‘OK, we're going to remove assault weapons — we're going have an assault weapons ban.”
A moment earlier, the same reporter had asked the press secretary for the president’s response to some Republicans who argue that there are “25 million of these devices out there in circulation in the homes of millions of Americans and therefore, you can't ban them.”
“That's unacceptable,” Jean-Pierre fired back. “That's our response. It's unacceptable that Republicans are saying that there's nothing that we can do. Our schools, our churches, our places of worships have now become deadly places for many Americans who have lost their lives. Just this past year.”