Vice President Kamala Harris issued a fiery rebuke to Republicans who say gun reforms being proposed by the White House in the wake of recent mass shootings in Boulder, Colo., and Atlanta would mean getting rid of the Second Amendment.
"It is time for Congress to act and stop with the false choices," Harris said on "CBS This Morning" Wednesday. "This is not about getting rid of the Second Amendment. It's simply about saying we need reasonable gun safety laws.
"Stop pushing the false choice that this means everybody's trying to come after your guns," Harris continued. "That is not what we're talking about."
Her comments came a day after police identified the 10 victims and suspected gunman in Monday's massacre in Boulder. President Biden called for a ban on assault weapons and urged Congress to act.
“I don’t need to wait another minute, let alone another hour, to take common sense steps that will save lives in the future,” Biden said at the White House. “We can ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines once again.”
Senate Democrats on Tuesday vowed to move forward with new gun safety legislation, but passage of such measures faces long odds thanks to Republican resistance.
"The Democrats' proposal every time is always the same, which is take away guns from law-abiding citizens," Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told Fox News on Tuesday. “That is their political agenda every single day. It doesn't work, it doesn't reduce crime. And in fact it makes it worse because it disarms the potential victims and makes them vulnerable to criminals."
Earlier this month, the House passed a pair of bills that would expand background checks. One measure would close a loophole by forcing those who purchase firearms over the internet, at gun shows or through private transactions to first undergo a background check. The second bill would allow 10 business days for federal background checks to be completed, versus the current standard of three days.
Democrats have pushed for new federal gun legislation for years, most notably in the wake of the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children.
A bipartisan proposal on background checks from Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., received 54 votes in April 2013, falling short of the 60 votes necessary for passage under current filibuster rules.
Harris, though, said she believes it is possible to enact bipartisan gun laws despite previous failures.
"I believe that it is possible. It has to be possible," the vice president said. "People agree that these slaughters have to stop."
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