Biden Signs Gun Bill Into Law, Ending Years of Stalemate

“I think the whole country was yearning for something real to happen after the terrible tragedies,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, said in an interview this past week. Before the Texas shooting, he had spent time in Buffalo, counseling grieving families after a racist attack at a supermarket left 10 Black people dead.

Mr. Biden said he would host both families affected by gun violence and the lawmakers who helped craft the measure at an event at the White House in July, after the Fourth of July recess, and suggested the compromise was a sign that more bipartisan efforts were possible.

“Their message to us was to do something,” Mr. Biden said of the families and survivors of gun violence. “How many times have you heard that? Just do something. For God’s sake, just do something.”

“Well, today, we did,” the president added.

For Mr. Biden and others, the compromise reflected decades of work on gun safety legislation. After 20 children were shot and killed in Newtown, Conn., in 2012, Mr. Biden, the vice president at the time, was tasked by President Barack Obama with drafting a list of executive actions on guns. Mr. Biden also called on lawmakers to expand background checks, but an effort to pass that and other gun control measures failed in the Senate.

After the shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Mr. Biden called for reinstating a ban on assault weapons — a restriction he helped pass as a senator that was in effect for a decade before it expired in 2004.

Most of the congressional efforts on guns have been stymied in recent years by Republican opposition, as the party has largely united to block new gun control measures and prevent that legislation from reaching the 60-vote threshold needed for most bills to advance in the Senate. As lawmakers reeled from the images that came out of the Texas shooting, however, party leaders offered their tacit blessing to a small coalition of senators eager to strike a compromise.

Source link