Biden Pitches Tougher Gun Control After Deputy Ambush Attack

September 14, 2020 Updated: September 14, 2020

Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden on Sept. 13 called for tighter gun restrictions in the wake of what authorities described as an ambush, in which two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were critically wounded.

“Weapons of war have no place in our communities,” Biden wrote on Twitter. “We need to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.”

His statement followed an earlier tweet in which he referred to a 10-year Senate ban on “assault weapons” and high-capacity magazines, saying Congress should never have let it expire. “As president, I’ll take on the @NRA and we’ll ban them once again.”

Biden’s comments follow an earlier statement he made when he called the incident, in which a 31-year-old female deputy and 24-year-old male deputy were shot in Compton on Sept. 12, “unconscionable.”

“This cold-blooded shooting is unconscionable and the perpetrator must be brought to justice. Violence of any kind is wrong; those who commit it should be caught and punished,” Biden wrote.

Video footage of the shooting showed a suspect approaching the vehicle the deputies were sitting in before opening fire. The two officers are expected to recover, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Sept. 13. After being shot at point-blank range, the officers were still able to call for help.

“They performed in an admirable fashion in spite of grave adversity,” Villanueva said in a conversation with local religious leaders. “God bless them.”

St. Francis Medical Center hospital
Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department (LASD) deputies walk outside St. Francis Medical Center hospital following the ambush shooting of two deputies in Compton, in Lynwood, Calif., on Sept. 13, 2020. (Patrick T. Fallon/Reuters)
Deputies outside hospital
Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department (LASD) deputies stand outside St. Francis Medical Center hospital following the ambush shooting of two deputies in Compton, in Lynwood, Calif., on Sept. 13, 2020. (Patrick T. Fallon/Reuters)

President Donald Trump first responded to the ambush-style shooting on Sept. 13, referring to criminals who target law enforcement as “animals that must be hit hard!”

“If [the deputies] die, fast trial death penalty for the killer. Only way to stop this!” Trump later wrote.

The LA County sheriff, in a tweet on Sept. 14, thanked Biden and Trump for expressing their sympathies.

“On behalf of @LASDHQ, I would like to extend our deepest gratitude to both @RealDonaldTrump and @JoeBiden for reaching out today and offering their kind words regarding the horrific ambush which our two brave deputies survived last night,” Villanueva wrote.

Trump later went after Biden for allegedly being weak on crime.

“He’s not strong for law and order, and everybody knows that,” Trump said of Biden on Sept. 13. “When you see a scene like happened just last night in California with the two police people—a woman, a man—shot at stone cold short range.”

Trump and Republican allies have often cast Biden and Democratic elected officials as weak on crime in the midst of Black Lives Matter protests and a wave of anti-police sentiment following George Floyd’s death in May. Far-left activists and some Democratic politicians have also called to defund or abolish police departments over the summer. Biden has said he opposes defunding police departments.

“Let’s get the facts straight. I not only don’t want to defund the police,” Biden said in August, “I want to add $300 million to their local budgets to deal with community policing to get police and communities back together again.”

However, on July 8, Biden said he was in favor of redirecting some police funds to community policing and other initiatives when asked about it in an interview. “Yes, absolutely,” he replied.

Trump has called himself the president of “law and order.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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