President Biden on Thursday urged Congress to make a number of moves to reduce gun violence during his speech to the American people in the wake of several mass shootings in the country.
Here are his main proposals:
Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines
The President called for a ban on "assault weapons" and high-capacity magazines, and short of that, he said the age to purchase them should be raised from 18 to 21.
"We should reinstate the assault weapons ban high-capacity magazines that we passed in 1994 with bipartisan support in Congress and the support of law enforcement," Biden said. "Nine categories of semi-automatic weapons were included in that ban, like AK-47 and AR-15. And in the 10 years it was law, mass shootings went down. But after Republicans let the law expire in 2004 those weapons were allowed to be sold again. Mass shootings tripled. Those are the facts."
He said Congress should also "limit how many rounds a weapon can hold."
"Why in God's name should an ordinary citizen be able to purchase an assault weapon that holds 30 round magazines that lets mass shooters fire hundreds of bullets in matter of minutes?," he asked. "The damage was so devastating in Uvalde. Parents had to do DNA swabs to identify the remains of their children, nine- and 10-year-olds."
And if Congress can't ban assault weapons, it should raise the age to purchase them from 18 to 21
"Look I know some folks will say 18-year-olds can serve in the military and fire those weapons," Biden said. "But that's with training and supervision by the best trained experts in the world. Don't tell me raising the age won't make a difference. Enough."
Strengthen background checks, enact safe storage laws and red flag laws
Biden further pushed Congress to strengthen background checks and act safe storage law and red flag laws, which he said would, "keep guns out of the hands of felons" and "fugitives."
"Stronger background checks are something that the vast majority of Americans, including the majority of gun owners agree on," he said. "I also believe we should have safe storage laws and personal liability for not locking up your gun."
Repeal the immunity that protects gun manufacturers from liability
"We should repeal the liability shield that often protects gun manufacturers and being sued for the death and destruction caused by their weapons," he said. "The only industry in this country that has that kind of immunity. Imagine if the tobacco industry had been immune from being sued where we be today. The gun industry's special protections are outrageous. It must end."
Address the mental health crisis
Biden said there was a "serious mental health crisis in this country," something Republicans have turned to instead of backing new gun restrictions.
"We have to do something about it," he said. "That's why mental health is at the heart of my unity agenda that I laid out in the State of Union address this year. We must provide more school counselors or school nurses, more mental health services for students and for teachers. More people volunteering as mentors to help young people succeed. More privacy protection and resources to keep kids safe from the harms of social media. This unity agenda won't fully heal the wounded souls, but it will help, it matters."