Biden offers encouragement to activists, says work "continues" on gun, magazine ban

Biden offers encouragement to activists, says work "continues" on gun, magazine ban
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Joe Biden continued his stumping for a ban on so-called assault weapons and “large capacity” magazines on Wednesday evening at a vigil for victims of “gun violence” in Washington, D.C.

Speaking before gun control activists and other supporters of new restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms, Biden reiterated his call for the Senate to take up the ban on modern sporting rifles narrowly approved by the House earlier this year, though there’s no sign that the president’s repeated exhortations have had any sway on senators themselves.

“Even as our work continues to limit the number of bullets that can be in a cartridge, the type of weapon that can be purchased and sold, attempt to ban assault weapons, a whole range of things –  It’s just common sense. Just simple common sense,” Biden said.

“We did it before,” he added, citing the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban that expired in 2004, and he claimed that the number of mass shootings was significantly reduced because of the legislation.

But both Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill have become increasingly pessimistic about the prospect of passing more gun control legislation before the end of the lame-duck session.

Pols have become pessimistic about passing gun control legislation before the end of the session.AP

“I don’t think that’s on the table,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who supported the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act that Congress passed this summer, told Fox News Digital on Wednesday about that chance passing an assault weapons ban before the end of the year.

Democrats are equally pessimistic, with Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut hinting to Fox News that a vote might not happen given the lack of support and the fact that Senate leadership has “a lot on our plate” that they believe they can get done in the current lame-duck session.

But Blumenthal said he would still prefer a vote on some bill, even if it fails.

“I personally would like to be on the record,” he said.Comments from Cornyn and Blumenthal are just the latest sign that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s goal of passing an assault weapons ban before the end of the current Congress is slipping away.

On Wednesday, Blumenthal joined his Democrat colleague, Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and the March Fourth Coalition, an anti-gun advocacy group, to host a press conference aimed at urging the Senate to pass the assault weapons ban in the lame-duck session.

Let’s be clear here: the gun and magazine ban bill approved by the House has never had the votes necessary for passage in the Senate, and Schumer isn’t delusional enough to believe otherwise. While Senate Democrats may deeply desire enacting Biden’s gun ban, the president’s repeated push for the Senate to act is also about setting the table for both state-level bans and executive actions in the coming year. A number of blue states, including Illinois, have already begun work on bills to ban modern sporting rifles as quickly as possible, and the gun control lobby has been pushing for Biden’s ATF to impose a federal ban through executive action; reclassifying some or all semi-automatic firearms (including handguns) as “readily convertible” to machine guns, which would bring them under the umbrella of the National Firearms Act.

Even though the Senate won’t be giving Joe Biden a gun ban for Christmas this year, the threat to our Second Amendment rights won’t disappear when the current session of Congress adjourns in just a few weeks. From sea to shining sea we’re going to see full-frontal assaults on the right to keep and bear arms wherever Democrats think they have the votes to enact a gun ban… or where they think they can get away with a ban without holding a vote at all.