From the White House to Congress, calls to reform the country's gun laws are growing again, after 18 people were shot and killed at a restaurant and bowling alley in Maine.
Democratic Rep. Jared Golden is from Lewiston, and he said this tragedy changed how he feels about gun reform.
"I have opposed efforts to ban deadly weapons of war like the assault rifle used to carry out this crime," Golden said at a press conference Thursday. "The time has now come for me to take responsibility for this failure, which is why I now call on the United States Congress to ban assault rifles."
The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act — passed after deadly shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York — marked the first major change in gun laws in decades. But some members of Congress believe there's still more to do.
"We also have a bigger issue to address in this country. Again, a bipartisan issue," said Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada."It shouldn't be a partisan issue for political gain. It should be how we keep our community safe. And gun safety as part of it."
Universal background checks, banning bump stocks and high-capacity magazines, safe storage laws, keeping guns away from people who are mentally ill are all ideas that have been proposed in Congress, but haven't been passed into law.
The Biden administration has taken executive action to try to reduce gun violence, but the White House has repeatedly said Congress needs to do more.
"We will do everything we can to prevent every act of gun violence but we need Congress to act when it comes to making sure we have strong red flag laws that cover the entire country, we have background checks on every single gun sale and that we ban assault weapons," said Rob Wilcox, the deputy director of the new White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention.
With split majorities in Congress, any progress on gun reform will require at least some agreement between Democrats and Republicans. It's unclear whether the new Republican Speaker Mike Johnson would be interested in bringing gun reform to the House floor.
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