Biden: ‘I Can’t Dictate’ Gun Laws, It’s Up to Congress

President Joe Biden is telling America about the things that he can’t do. And at the top of the list are regulations regarding gun laws.

Biden says that it is up to Congress to outlaw assault weapons and strengthen background checks for the sale of guns, declaring to the media, “I can’t dictate this stuff.”

The president said there are executive actions that he can and will take. But a president can’t just outlaw a weapon or institute a background check.

When Biden visited Robb elementary school, he promised to take action to curb gun violence. But he seems to have a better understanding of just what he can do, and what he can’t. 

Asked by the press if he was optimistic about getting a deal that would address gun violence, Biden responded, “I don’t know.” This question came after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) indicated last week that he asked Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) to negotiate with Democrats over a legislative response to the violence in Uvalde, Texas.

Biden said that McConnell and Cornyn were “rational Republicans.” He said that he believes there is now a recognition that the country can’t keep going like it is. 

Biden said that the person responsible for negotiating gun control on the Democratic side of the aisle will be Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.). 

Bipartisan Talks

Biden and McConnell have a history of negotiation from when the president served as vice president. They were able to keep tax cuts from the George W. Bush era in place so that a fiscal cliff could be avoided in 2013.

When was asked about getting new legislation so that states can set up “red flag” laws that will keep people who might be dangerous from buying guns, he said, “That’s hard to say because I have not been negotiating with any of the Republicans.”

Biden has been clear on what he thinks of AR-15-type rifles, which is what the shooter in Uvalde used. These guns can fire rounds quickly without manually cycling a bolt or lever. 

“I know that it makes no sense to be able to purchase something that can fire up to 300 rounds. I know what happened when we had rational action before, when the crime bill was — the law that got passed. It did significantly cut down on mass murders,” the president said referring to the 10-year assault weapons ban that was inside of the 1994 crime bill.

The president had a lot to say about guns that have 100-round magazines. He said there was only one reason for a gun that can fire 100 shots.

Biden talked about a visit to a trauma hospital in New York where he was shown gunshot injuries. He said that he saw an X-ray and the doctor explained to him the difference between a 9 mm bullet and a .22 caliber bullet.

Biden said that the 9 mm bullet blows the lung out of a body, adding that there is no rational basis for that in terms of self-protection or hunting. 

Biden continued, saying that the Second Amendment was “never absolute.” He illustrated that statement by saying that you could not “buy a cannon” when the Second Amendment was passed. 

When the president was asked about the need for assault-style rifles so that citizens have enough firepower to resist government tyranny, he said, “Well, to do that, you need an F-15, you know? Or you need an Abrams tank.”