By Victor Reklaitis
“We can keep assault weapons off our streets. We’ve done it before,” the president said in Buffalo last week, referring to a 10-year federal ban on assault weapons , which he helped negotiate — and expired in 2004.
Speaking with reporters at Buffalo’s airport a week ago, Biden said he has to convince Congress to go back to what he passed years ago, adding that it’s going to be “very difficult,” but he’s not going to give up.
Biden has often advocated for gun-control measures since his inauguration, and his actions have included a new rule aimed at ghost guns , which are firearms that can be made at home from kits and are increasingly used in crimes.
Beacon’s Koltun on Wednesday stressed that an upcoming weeklong break for the Senate could hamper any push for new restrictions on guns.
“Congress is about to head into Memorial Day recess. Nothing quick will happen. More time means more lobbying and further time away from the tragedy gives more space to return to partisan talking points on guns,” he said.
Ahead of the holiday break, Biden’s new nominee for director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Steve Dettelbach , was appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. The White House last year withdrew a pro-gun-control ATF nominee after Senate opposition .
“I can think of no better way to support law enforcement, to reject hate and extremism and to keep America safe from violent crime than for the committee and the entire Senate to confirm Steve Dettelbach as ATF director,” said Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio during Wednesday’s committee hearing.
Shares in gun companies jumped Wednesday, as the broad market advanced.
Sturm Ruger & Co.’s stock /zigman2/quotes/200036418/composite RGR +2.41% rose 4% but has fallen 12% over the past 12 months, and Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202273249/composite SWBI +4.99% soared 8% but has lost 23% in 12 months, while the S&P 500 tacked on 0.7% and has shed 5% in 12 months.
This is an updated version of a report that was first published on May 17, 2022.