Vice President Kamala Harris said no one is “trying to come after your guns” as President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats prepare to do exactly that.
“Stop pushing the false choice that this means everybody’s trying to come after your guns,” Harris said. “That is not what we’re talking about.”
VP Kamala Harris on CBS This Morning:
"Stop pushing the false choice that this means everybody's trying to come after your guns, that is not what we're talking about." pic.twitter.com/dQjH3w9WiY
— The Recount (@therecount) March 24, 2021
Harris’s comments come as Biden and his allies in Congress are calling for a federal ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, restricting gun access for even law-abiding citizens after multiple deadly shootings in the last two weeks.
“We can ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in this country once again,” Biden said shortly after the shooting in Boulder, Colorado. “I got that done when I was a senator. It passed. It was the law for the longest time. And it brought down these mass killings. We should do it again.”
Biden also urged legislators to pass bills expanding a background check system for firearm sales, a change that some senators on the left side of the aisle think could garner enough Republican support to bypass the filibuster, which multiple members are trying to abolish.
“I think a universal background checks bill can get 60 votes,” said Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut. “We’re going to sit down with Democratic leadership this week and talk about the path forward. I think we’ve got two weeks of recess in which I think there’ll be a lot of conversations, across the aisle, about the path forward on background checks.”
While GOP members such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have said they are “open to the discussion,” even the moderate Republican senators such as Sen. Susan Collins of Maine view the Democrats’ current legislative proposals as “very, very broad” and unlikely to pass the upper chamber.
Biden and Harris previously sparred over gun control measures during a primary debate in 2019 after Biden rejected Harris’s bid to use executive power to ban imports of AR-15s as well as potentially implement “universal background checks, ban semi-automatic rifles, repeal the NRA’s corporate gun manufacturer immunity shield (PLCAA), criminalize gun trafficking at the federal level, ban high-capacity magazines, and prohibit people convicted of a federal hate crime from buying guns.”
“You can’t do it by executive order any more than Trump can do things when he says he can do it by executive order,” Biden pointed out.
“I mean I would just say, ‘Hey Joe, instead of saying “no, we can’t,” let’s say “yes, we can,”’” Harris replied while laughing.