President Joe Biden on Nov. 24 called for "much stricter gun laws," saying that he plans to push for a ban on "assault weapons" during the lame duck Congress while labeling the idea of allowing "semiautomatic weapons" to be purchased as "sick."
"I’m sick and tired of these shootings. We should have much stricter gun laws," Biden said.
Biden first called for tougher enforcement of existing red-flag laws, which allow authorities to take guns away from people deemed dangerous.
"It saves lives. So that’s number one," Biden said of red-flag laws, also known as extreme risk protection orders (ERPO).
At the meeting in Nantucket, the president also took aim at semi-automatic guns.
Biden, who has previously called for banning semi-automatic firearms, including handguns, said that "the idea we still allow semi-automatic weapons to be purchased is sick."
"It’s just sick. It has no, no social redeeming value. Zero. None. Not a single, solitary rationale for it except profit for the gun manufacturers," Biden continued, adding that he would push for a ban on assault weapons during the lame duck Congress.
Red-Flag LawsWhile there are no federal ERPO regulations, a number of states have adopted red-flag laws.
A recent Associated Press analysis found that existing red-flag laws in 19 states and the District of Columbia were used to remove firearms from people 15,049 times since 2020, or fewer than 10 per 100,000 adult residents.
Some experts have suggested the reason red-flag laws haven't been shown to be effective in reducing violent crime is that authorities either aren't aware of the laws or are reluctant to enforce them.
While gun control advocates have touted red-flag laws as a powerful tool to reduce violent crime, gun rights advocates have argued that such laws won't be effective at reducing crime but will only make law-abiding citizens more vulnerable by reducing their access to tools they can use to defend themselves and their families.
“You’re taking away someone’s property and means of self-defense,” Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff who heads the pro-gun Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, told PBS.
Others have argued that the problem isn't guns but the lack of institutionalization of the mentally ill.
"From 1960 to 1964, there was not a single notable mass shooting in the United States," Hull wrote. "Then do-gooders decided on 'deinstitutionalization'—that is, to simply release virtually all of the mentally ill into American society."
"As we emptied out America’s insane asylums, mentally ill people began killing Americans en masse," Hull wrote, noting that several studies have shown a link between mental illness and mass shootings.