President Joe Biden speaks at an Everytown conference on June 11th, 2024
President Joe Biden speaks at an Everytown conference on June 11th, 2024 / White House

Biden Headlines Gun-Control Conference Hours After Son Convicted on Gun Charges

President Joe Biden doubled down on new gun restrictions in the moments after his son was convicted on felony gun charges and just before he flew to Delaware to comfort him.

The President did not address his son’s convictions during the Tuesday speech at Everytown for Gun Safety’s national conference. Instead, he emphasized his plan to ban the sale of popular firearms, such as the AR-15, and implement a series of new firearms regulations during a potential second term.

“It’s time to do what I did when I was a Senator, ban assault weapons,” Biden said to chants of “four more years” from the crowd. “I mean it. Who in God’s name needs a magazine that can hold 200 shells?”

While Hunter Biden’s conviction on federal gun charges steps on his father’s major gun policy speech, the President’s appearance at the event signals gun restrictions will be a significant part of his re-election campaign. His decision to run on a so-called assault weapons ban and work more closely with the nation’s largest gun-control group could help boost turnout among his base. Of course, it could also alienate potential swing voters or even traditional democrats who have become gun owners since 2020.

Biden appears to be mirroring his opponent’s longstanding gun strategy. Former president Donald Trump has spoken at every National Rifle Association conference since he began running for president back in 2015. He spoke to the gun-rights group and accepted its endorsement during its May convention in Dallas, Texas, which boosted over 70,000 attendees. He previously spoke to the group during a Pennsylvania event in January, and the NRA recently announced it was planning another event with Trump sometime this summer.

“Joe Biden and his thugs will do everything in their power to confiscate your guns and annihilate your God-given right to self-defense,” Trump said at the January event. “A meaningful Second Amendment, which you have, it’s under siege. They got nowhere with me, but there are a lot of other things happening with Biden.”

Biden responded during his speech.

“After a school shooting in Iowa that killed a student and a teacher, my predecessor was asked about it. You remember what he said: ‘You have to get over it,'” Biden said. “Hell no, we don’t have to get over it. We have to stop it.”

The event he spoke at, called Gun Sense University, is an annual gathering of gun-control activists that includes a lobbying effort. It was held in Washington, DC, and drew “over 1,000” attendees, according to Everytown.

“We are honored to host President Biden — the most impactful president on gun safety in history — at this year’s Gun Sense University,” Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of conference co-sponsor Moms Demand Action, said in a statement. “Our movement is working hand in hand with the Biden-Harris Administration and fighting together for a safer future.”

Biden’s speech included a number of the stories he commonly repeats when talking about guns. He falsely claimed black powder cannons, which remain unregulated today, were illegal to own during the Civil War. He said anybody who needs more than a few rounds is a lousy shot. He also mocked people who use Thomas Jefferson’s famous Tree of Liberty quote, explaining Americans would “need F-15s” to take on the government, “not a rifle.”

His speech was primarily focused on his efforts to deliver wins for gun-control advocates in his first term. He highlighted the passage of the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which he credited with preventing 700 potentially unlawful buyers between the ages of 18 and 20 from getting a gun. Biden then described the slew of unilateral gun restrictions he’s implemented, including a ban on pistol braces and so-called ghost guns.

“Together, our efforts, your efforts, are saving lives and helping rally a nation with a sense of urgency and seriousness of purpose,” he said. “We’re changing the culture. We’ve proven we can do more than thoughts and prayers.”

Hunter Biden’s convictions could carry up to 25 years in prison, though he is unlikely to receive the harshest punishment since he is a first-time offender. The White House canceled its afternoon press conference and announced President Biden would fly directly to Delaware after his Everytown speech to comfort his son.

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019


Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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