President Biden on Monday argued that Republicans aren’t on the side of law enforcement if they oppose banning assault weapons in remarks to a Black law enforcement organization.
“You hear a lot of politicians say about how much they love you, how much they care about you, they’ll do anything for you. In the state you’re in today, Gov. DeSantis, Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Rick Scott all opposed banning assault weapons and Senator Scott and Rubio voted against the bipartisan gun safety law that I signed,” Biden said, calling out the Florida Republicans.
“To me it’s simple, if you can’t support banning weapons of war on American streets, you’re not on the side of police,” he added.
He said that the organization, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), supported the assault weapon ban that passed in 1994 when Biden was in the Senate and expired 20 years later.
“Being a cop today is a hell of a lot harder than it’s ever been. We expect everything of you…maybe worse of all, we send you out to do your job on the streets flooded with weapons of war,” Biden said.
He was previously slated to go to Florida, a battleground state, to deliver the remarks at the NOBLE conference in-person but is isolating at the White House after testing positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. The trip would have been his second to Florida since taking office.
Biden told the conference, “on the ballot this year will be whether or not this nation bans assault weapons.”
The House Judiciary Committee advanced a bill to ban assault weapons last week, which marked the first time in two decades a congressional panel has moved to prohibit the sale, transfer and possession of the popular firearms. The bill has little chance of advancing given GOP opposition in the evenly divided Senate.
The move comes after a spate of mass shootings in the U.S., including at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas and at a July Fourth parade in Highland Park, Ill. In both incidents, the alleged shooter was young man with an AR-style semi-automatic weapon, which is the main firearm the legislation aims to restrict.