At least 18 Americans have been killed in three mass shootings in California recently, prompting President Joe Biden to urge Congress to ban assault weapons on January 24.
On January 23, seven individuals were shot and murdered in Half Moon Bay, a seaside village south of San Francisco, according to police reports.
One person was shot and murdered that evening in Oakland, while at least seven others were hurt.
Two days earlier, a shooter opened fire in a dance studio practice room during a Lunar New Year celebration in the predominantly Asian suburb east of downtown Los Angeles in the southern California city of Monterey Park, killing 11 and wounding at least ten more.
Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, said Americans have more than lives killed in mass shootings during a press briefing on January 24.
Jean-Pierre continued by saying that President Biden, like most Americans, feels this is a serious issue and that too many of our neighbors, colleagues, and kids are losing their lives to gun violence. Over the past two decades, more students have been killed by firearms than all police officers and active-duty military personnel in the United States.
On January 24, President Biden informed California’s Democratic legislators that Vice President Kamala Harris would visit the White House to discuss gun control policies.
Harris has held the roles of attorney general and senator in California and has advocated for the renewal of the 1994 federal assault weapons prohibition, which had previously been enacted into law but had lapsed by 2004 before being reintroduced on January 23 by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).
Biden sponsored the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which includes this item.
The minimum age to purchase an assault weapon would be increased from 18 to 21 under the gun control proposal that Feinstein sponsored on January 23 with Connecticut Democrat senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy.
Should it be passed and signed, the proposal would make it illegal to sell, manufacture, or transfer guns like the AK-47 and AR-15, while current gun owners could keep theirs. Certain firearms kept in the home for self-defense or recreational purposes are exempt from the bill.
A news statement from Feinstein’s office stated that Democratic Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island would draft a House version of the assault weapons prohibition.
The Republican majority in the House means that the bill is unlikely to make it to President Biden’s desk.
Cali is notorious for its strict gun laws. According to the CDC, it has the seventh-lowest rate of firearm-related fatalities in the country.
According to statistics compiled by the Public Policy Institute of California in 2018, the state of California had a lower death toll from mass shootings than the rest of the country.