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White House vows action on gun violence in late-night statement, says ‘thoughts and prayers’ not enough

The White House said late Tuesday night that President Biden would do everything within his power to reduce U.S. gun violence, emphasizing that thoughts and prayers alone will not resolve the issue

In a statement, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Americans have been “scarred by the devastating impacts” of recent gun violence.

She cited several instances of gun violence that made news headlines the last couple of days, including a gunman shooting two Newark, New Jersey, police officers from the roof of a building, rap artist Takeoff being killed in a shooting in Houston and 14 people being shot and injured in Chicago.

“These are only the shootings that made national headlines,” Jean-Pierre said. “In other cases, we may not know the names of the victims but we equally mourn with their families and communities. Our deepest condolences are with the families of each and every one of the victims.”

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The press secretary explained that thoughts and prayers are not enough to curb gun violence in America and that Biden will call on Congress to tighten existing gun laws.

“Enough is enough. Gun violence in this country is an epidemic that will not end with thoughts and prayers alone,” she said. “President Biden will continue to do everything in his power to reduce gun violence, including by calling on Congress to increase community violence intervention funding, ensure universal background checks, and send legislation to his desk banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. It’s past time we turn our pain into purpose.”

Earlier this year, Biden signed a bipartisan piece of gun control legislation.

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The law included funding for school safety, investments in mental health services, expanded background checks for gun buyers under 21 years of age, grants for states that implement red flag laws, penalties for straw purchases of firearms and new protections for victims of domestic abuse.

The bill also clarified the definition of a federally licensed firearm dealer.

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