White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to say if President Joe Biden supported armed security at schools during Thursday’s press briefing.
“I’m going to step back a little bit further. We’ve done two dozen executive orders in the past two years, this president has, to do everything that he can to protect communities and our kids. And as we know, we can’t do it alone. The president is limited on this so we need Congress to act,” Jean-Pierre said in response to a question about whether Biden would support legislation to provide grants to improve school security. “And the things that we know are very popular that will actually assist or help prevent gun violence is, one of them, is banning assault weapons. Right? That we know for a fact. When it was done in 1994 for those 10 years, gun violence went down.” (RELATED: ‘Disarming You Is The Point’: Tucker Slams Biden’s Gun Control Speech)
Republican Sens. Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty of Tennessee announced their intention to introduce the SAFE School Act in a Thursday release. The legislation, similar to what Blackburn introduced in the past, would provide $900 million for the purposes of training and hiring veterans and retired law enforcement officers and hiring off-duty law enforcement officers to serve as armed security at schools, while also providing funds to improve security at school buildings.
Biden signed an executive order following a January mass shooting at a dance hall in California that directed Attorney General Merrick Garland to increase background checks. Biden also took executive action targeting pistol braces, so-called “ghost guns” and a “zero tolerance” policy regarding record-keeping failures by federally-licensed firearms dealers, but his measures face legal challenges from states and pro-Second Amendment advocacy groups.
“When that law sunset, it rose back up again. So, we know what works and that’s why we’ve been calling – the president has been calling for the assault weapons ban, and this is something that Republicans won’t move on,” Jean-Pierre continued. “It’s not just that. There’s other common sense gun laws reform. Requiring background checks on all gun sales, requiring safe storage of gun, eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on the streets. These are weapons of war.”
Audrey Hale, a 28-year-old female shooter who identified as transgender, killed three children and three adults at Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, Monday before being engaged and fatally wounded by law enforcement after reportedly entering the school via a side door. Biden, Congressional Democrats, media figures and celebrities demanded a ban on so-called “assault weapons” in the wake of the shooting.
“We know what needs to happen,” Jean-Pierre said in response to the reporter again asking if Biden would back the bill introduced by Tennessee’s senators. “Banning assault weapons is… one of the clearest ways – that’s what the data shows us – that we can get weapons of war off the streets and that’s what we’re asking for.”
A spokeswoman for Sen. Blackburn referred the Daily Caller News Foundation to a tweet by the senator.
“It is clear this WH has no interest in protecting our kids,” Blackburn tweeted. “They just want to make this about politics.”
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