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Biden delivers speech on gun violence

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What we covered here

  • President Biden called on Congress to take action on gun control, including enacting a ban on assault weapons, tougher background check laws and a higher minimum age of purchase.
  • His speech at the White House came one day after a deadly hospital complex shooting in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and just over a week after a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and two weeks after a racially-motivated mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.
  • The future of gun control legislation in Congress remains uncertain. The House Judiciary Committee approved a wide-ranging bill that would likely pass the Democratic-controlled House but wouldn’t overcome a Republican-led filibuster in the Senate.

Our live coverage has ended. Read more in the posts below.

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Here are the gun control proposals Biden laid out in his speech

President Biden on Thursday urged Congress to make a number of moves to reduce gun violence during his speech to the American people in the wake of several mass shootings in the country. 

Here are his main proposals: 

Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines

The President called for a ban on “assault weapons” and high-capacity magazines, and short of that, he said the age to purchase them should be raised from 18 to 21. 

“We should reinstate the assault weapons ban high-capacity magazines that we passed in 1994 with bipartisan support in Congress and the support of law enforcement,” Biden said. “Nine categories of semi-automatic weapons were included in that ban, like AK-47 and AR-15. And in the 10 years it was law, mass shootings went down. But after Republicans let the law expire in 2004 those weapons were allowed to be sold again. Mass shootings tripled. Those are the facts.” 

He said Congress should also “limit how many rounds a weapon can hold.” 

“Why in God’s name should an ordinary citizen be able to purchase an assault weapon that holds 30 round magazines that lets mass shooters fire hundreds of bullets in matter of minutes?,” he asked. “The damage was so devastating in Uvalde. Parents had to do DNA swabs to identify the remains of their children, nine- and 10-year-olds.”

And if Congress can’t ban assault weapons, it should raise the age to purchase them from 18 to 21

“Look I know some folks will say 18-year-olds can serve in the military and fire those weapons,” Biden said. “But that’s with training and supervision by the best trained experts in the world. Don’t tell me raising the age won’t make a difference. Enough.”  

Strengthen background checks, enact safe storage laws and red flag laws

Biden further pushed Congress to strengthen background checks and act safe storage law and red flag laws, which he said would, “keep guns out of the hands of felons” and “fugitives.” 

“Stronger background checks are something that the vast majority of Americans, including the majority of gun owners agree on,” he said. “I also believe we should have safe storage laws and personal liability for not locking up your gun.” 

Repeal the immunity that protects gun manufacturers from liability

“We should repeal the liability shield that often protects gun manufacturers and being sued for the death and destruction caused by their weapons,” he said. “The only industry in this country that has that kind of immunity. Imagine if the tobacco industry had been immune from being sued where we be today. The gun industry’s special protections are outrageous. It must end.” 

Address the mental health crisis

Biden said there was a “serious mental health crisis in this country,” something Republicans have turned to instead of backing new gun restrictions. 

“We have to do something about it,” he said. “That’s why mental health is at the heart of my unity agenda that I laid out in the State of Union address this year. We must provide more school counselors or school nurses, more mental health services for students and for teachers. More people volunteering as mentors to help young people succeed. More privacy protection and resources to keep kids safe from the harms of social media. This unity agenda won’t fully heal the wounded souls, but it will help, it matters.” 

Gun reform needs to happen "for the children we've lost, the children we can save," Biden says

President Biden ended his remarks on Thursday with a final plea for action, saying change needs to happen “for the children we’ve lost, the children we can save.”

He called on lawmakers and voters to “hear the call and the cry” and “meet the moment.”

It comes after a mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas left 19 students and two teachers dead.

“Let’s hear the call and the cry. Let’s meet the moment. Let us finally do something. God bless the families who are hurting. God bless you all,” he added.

The President ended his speech with a prayer from a hymn he said is sung in his church based on Psalm 91: “‘May he raise you up on eagle’s wings and bear you on the breath of dawn, make you to shine like the sun and hold you in the palm of his hand.’ That’s my prayer for all of you. God bless you.” 

Biden: Red flag laws and background checks would've prevented shootings in Parkland, Fort Hood and Uvalde

President Biden called on Congress to take further steps to enhance background checks for gun purchases and expand red flag laws in remarks from the White House Thursday.

He said such steps would’ve prevented mass shootings in Parkland, Florida, Fort Hood, Texas, and Uvalde, Texas.

Biden said federal red flag laws would allow adults to alert authorities if “a child, a student, a patient is exhibiting violent tendencies, threatening classmates, or experiencing suicidal thoughts that makes them a danger to themselves or to others,” touting similar provisions in 19 states and the District of Columbia, including one in Delaware named for his son — former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden.

“Fort Hood, Texas, 2009 – 13 dead and more than 30 injured. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, 2018 – 17 dead, 17 injured. In both places, countless others suffering with invisible wounds – red flag laws could have stopped both the shooters,” Biden said. 

And background checks, he said, offer a solution “that the vast majority of Americans, including the majority of gun owners agree on.” 

A House-passed bill, HR 1446, backed by Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, would close what’s known as the “Charleston loophole,” which allows some licensed gun sales to go through before a required background check is done. 

Senate Democrats took steps Tuesday night to place the bill — called the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 — onto the legislative calendar so it can be voted on, but it’s unclear when the Senate will vote on the measure.

At this time, the legislation does not have the 60 votes required to clear a legislative filibuster in the Senate.

Biden calls Republican resistance to gun laws "unconscionable"

President Biden bemoaned Republican opposition to new gun control measures in a speech from the White House, calling the resistance in the face of mass shootings “unconscionable.”

“It’s time for the Senate to do something,” he said. “But as we know, in order to get anything done in the Senate, we need a minimum of 10 Republican senators.”

“I support the bipartisan efforts that includes small group of Democrats and Republican senators trying to find a way,” Biden said, putting his backing behind efforts led by Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn and Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy.

Still, he used the moment to call out GOP lawmakers who have resisted attempts in the past to pass gun control laws on background checks and other areas.

“My God, the fact that the majority of the Senate Republicans don’t want any of these proposals, even to be debated or come up for a vote, I find unconscionable,” Biden said.

Concluding his address, Biden said if Congress failed to act he believed American voters would punish them at the ballot box.

“I know how hard it is, but I’ll never give up. And if Congress fails, I believe this time a majority of American people won’t give up either. I believe the majority of you will act to turn your outrage into making this issue central to your vote. Enough, enough, enough,” he said.

The House Judiciary Committee just approved gun legislation. It faces an uphill battle in the Senate.

After a nearly 10-hour long session during what was originally scheduled as a recess week, the House Judiciary Committee has voted 25-19 down party lines to approve a package of gun control legislation that comes in the wake of multiple mass shootings in the country. 

The vote unfolded as President Biden delivered remarks on gun violence and urged Congress to act.

The package — called the “Protect Our Kids Act” — encompasses a wide range of Democratic priorities that includes raising the legal age to buy certain semiautomatic centerfire rifles from 18 to 21 years old, establishing new federal offenses for gun trafficking and for selling large-capacity magazines, and allowing local governments to compensate individuals who surrender such magazines through a buyback program. 

It would create a tax incentive for retail sales of safe storage devices and criminal penalties for breaking new requirements regulating firearm storage on residential premises, and take steps to strengthen existing federal regulations on bump stocks and ghost guns.

In a letter to House colleagues, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the bill will come to the floor for a vote next week. But the bill is not expected to get the 60 votes required in the Senate to overcome a filibuster. 

Read more about the package here.

Biden calls for repeal of liability shield protecting gun manufacturers from prosecution

President Biden called Thursday for the repeal of a liability shield protecting gun manufacturers from prosecution following mass shootings, blasting the protections as “outrageous.”

“We should repeal the liability shield that often protects gun manufacturers and being sued for the death and destruction caused by their weapons,” Biden said in a prime-time address from the White House. “It’s the only industry in this country that has that kind of immunity – imagine if the tobacco industry had been immune from being sued, where we’d be today.” 

Under the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, gun manufacturers cannot be held liable for the use of their products in crimes. 

However, gun manufacturers can still be held liable for (and thus sued for) a range of things, including negligence, breach of contract regarding the purchase of a gun or certain damages from defects in the design of a gun. 

Biden calls on raising age to purchase assault weapons to 21

President Biden said the age to purchase assault weapons must be raised from 18 to 21 if lawmakers cannot agree on an outright ban on those firearms.

“We must at least raise the age to be able to purchase one to 21,” Biden said at the White House.

He said he was cognizant of criticism that some 18-21-year-olds serve in the military and handle those weapons as part of their service.

He said those individuals receive “training and supervision by the best trained experts in the world.” 

Biden issues call to reinstate assault weapons ban: "The damage is so devastating"

President Biden issued a call to reinstate a ban on assault weapons that he said helped prevent horrific murders but expired in 2004.

Biden said in the 10 years the law was in place, mass shootings decreased.

“After Republicans let the law expire in 2004, those weapons were allowed to be sold again. Mass shootings tripled,” Biden said

He said the weapons inflicted gruesome damage on their victims and particularly children.

“The damage is so devastating and in Uvalde, parents had to do DNA swabs to identify the remains of their children, nine and 10-year-old children,” he said.

The President noted that the rights granted by the Second Amendment are “not unlimited.”

Biden urges action after mass shootings, says "this isn't about taking away anyone's guns"

President Biden urged action in the wake of three mass shootings in the US, saying “this isn’t about taking away anyone’s guns.”

“In fact, we believe we should be treating responsible gun owners as an example of how every gun owner should behave,” Biden added during remarks on Thursday.

The President said he respects “the culture and the tradition” of gun ownership, but that the Second Amendment “like all other rights is not absolute.” 

For example, he said, “machine guns have been federally regulated for nearly 90 years. This is still a free country.” 

“This isn’t about taking anyone’s rights. It’s about protecting children. It’s about protecting families. It’s about protecting whole communities. It’s about protecting our freedom to go to school, to a grocery store to a church without being shot and killed,” he said. 

After other mass shootings in the US, like the ones in Columbine, Sandy Hook and Parkland, Biden said nothing changed.

“This time that can’t be true. This time we must actually do something,” he said. “The issue we face is one of conscience and common sense.”

The President said when he visited the sites of two of the most recent shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, the message from families was clear.

He said they told him, “Do something. Just do something. For God’s sake, do something.”

“Standing there in that small town, like so many other communities across America, I couldn’t help but think, there are too many other schools, too many other everyday places, that have become killing fields, battlefields, here in America,” Biden said, recalling his visit to Robb Elementary School in Texas, where 19 students and two teachers were killed on May 24.

Biden says "nothing has been done" on guns after spate of massacres: "This time we must actually do something"

President Biden said a recent spate of horrific mass shootings must impel the nation to take action to prevent further massacres by passing gun control restrictions.

After meeting families mourning their slain loved ones in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, Biden said the message from them was clear: “Do something.”

Biden was standing in the White House cross hall, where 56 candles were burning behind him to represent victims of gun control in all US states and territories.

Biden: "How much more carnage are we willing to accept?"

President Biden is delivering a speech from the White House on guns to press US lawmakers to take action as the country confronts another mass shooting.

Biden addressed the recent mass shootings and gun violence while flanked by a candle-lit path.

Earlier Thursday, the White House said that Biden plans to discuss “the recent tragic mass shootings, and the need for Congress to act to pass commonsense laws to combat the epidemic of gun violence that is taking lives every day.”

Biden had been privately considering an address on the recent mass shootings even before four people were killed in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Wednesday night, aides say. 

The speech comes after two other recent mass shootings: one at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, on May 14 and one at an elementary school in Uvale, Texas, on May 24.

Biden did give a speech after the Texas shooting, but since then, the President has only selectively waded into the debate over gun control, stopping short of endorsing any specific pieces of legislation.

Both Biden and his advisers have suggested they have exhausted their options on executive action to address guns, though continue to explore avenues for unilateral action.

Where gun reform legislation stands in Congress

President Biden is expected to use his speech tonight to urge lawmakers to take action in response to a string of mass shootings in the US.

The President has acknowledged there is little he can do without the support of congressional Republicans to stop the mass shootings.

Here’s where things stand on Capitol Hill:

House: The House Judiciary Committee was holding a markup on Thursday of a wide-ranging package of gun control legislation called the “Protecting Our Kids Act,” as lawmakers face intense pressure to act in the wake of recent mass shootings.

House Democrats are moving to tee up votes on gun bills in the aftermath of a series of horrific shootings that have shocked the nation, including at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and a supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York.

Many of these measures are unlikely to pass the Senate, however, amid widespread GOP opposition to stricter gun control. A bipartisan group of senators is engaging in talks in an attempt to find common ground on gun policy, but it is still unclear what, if anything, will come of the effort.

The “Protecting Out Kids Act,” put forward by Democrats, includes a series of individual bills aimed at preventing gun violence. The measure would raise the legal age to buy certain semiautomatic centerfire rifles from 18 to 21 years old, establish new federal offenses for gun trafficking and for selling large-capacity magazines, and allow local governments to compensate individuals who surrender such magazines through a buyback program.

It would create a tax incentive for retail sales of safe storage devices and criminal penalties for breaking new requirements regulating firearm storage on residential premises. The measure would also take steps to strengthen existing federal regulations on bump stocks and ghost guns.

Senate: A bipartisan group of senators are in talks to see if there is common ground across party lines on new laws, though it is far from clear that the bipartisan effort will amount to anything given the highly polarized political environment.

The Senate’s discussions revolve around less restrictive gun measures than the House Judiciary committee’s bill, including strengthening background checks, and incentivizing mental health initiatives and compliance with “red flag” laws.

Sen. Chris Murphy, the Connecticut Democrat helping lead the talks, acknowledged that any accord would have to be “incremental” in order to win at least 10 Republican votes to break a filibuster in the 50-50 Senate — even as he expressed optimism that a deal could be reached by next week.

Mitch McConnell, the Senate GOP leader, said in his home state of Kentucky on Thursday that he wants a bipartisan deal “to target” the problem, which is “school safety and mental illness” and that it must be “consistent with the Second Amendment” — a different view from that of many Democrats, who see lax gun laws as the main culprit.

Read more about gun control efforts in Congress here.

Tulsa shooting is the nation's 233rd mass shooting of 2022, according to non-profit Gun Violence Archive

Police officers walk near people embracing at the reunion location, Memorial High School, after a shooting at the Saint Francis Hospital campus, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, June 1.

There have so far been at least 233 mass shootings in 2022, according to the non-profit organization Gun Violence Archive — including the shooting in Tulsa.

June 1 was the 152nd day of the year. This means there have been more mass shootings this year than there have been days in 2022.

CNN and the GVA define a mass shooting as a shooting that injured or killed four or more people, not including the shooter.

President Biden is set to deliver remarks soon from the White House on guns and is expected to press US lawmakers to take action.

Oklahoma signed the nation's first anti-red flag law in 2020

Oklahoma has an anti-red flag law bill — which was the nation’s first and appears to be the only one in the US — that prevents any level of government in the state from enacting red flag laws or accepting funding to implement such laws. 

It is unclear at this time whether the red flag law could have prevented a gunman who killed four in a Tulsa medical office from accessing a weapon. 

When the law was signed in May 2020, the state heralded it as the first in the nation. Kansas, Georgia, and Virginia have seen anti-red flag bills introduced in recent years, but so far none have become law. 

Oklahoma’s Senate Bill 1081, or the Anti-Red Flag Act, prevents state agencies and local governments from accepting funding in order to implement, or enacting on their own, “extreme risk protection orders,” meaning any measure meant to reduce the risk of gun injury or death by keeping a person from owning a gun or removing a gun from someone. 

“Red flag laws would circumvent our laws, stripping American citizens of their rights to due process under the law. As a veteran and an American, I could never let that happen,” State Rep. Jay Steagall, the author of the bill in the state house, said in a statement when the bill was signed. 

Some background: Red flag laws exist in multiple states and allow the temporary removal of firearms from people who could pose a danger to themselves or others. In Florida, the state’s red flag law has been leveraged in more than 8,000 instances since 2018.

According to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s database on background checks, more than 860,000 people have been blocked from buying a gun in New York due to red flag laws, the third-highest number in the country. 

Here's what you need to know about the Buffalo, Uvalde and Tulsa mass shootings

President Biden has been briefed three times in the last three weeks on mass shootings in the US: one occurred at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, one at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and one at a hospital complex in Tulsa, Oklahoma, just yesterday.

There have so far been at least 233 mass shootings in 2022, according to the nonprofit organization Gun Violence Archive — including the shooting in Tulsa.

In the face of these shootings, the President is expected to give a speech from the White House on guns tonight.

Here are key things to know about each incident:

  • Buffalo, New York: An 18-year-old man allegedly shot and killed 10 people at a supermarket on May 14 in the heart of a predominantly Black community. Eleven of the 13 people shot by the White suspect at the Tops Friendly Market were Black, officials said. Erie County Sheriff John Garcia called the shooting a “straight-up racially motivated hate crime.” Police say the shooter arrived at the store heavily armed with an assault weapon and wearing tactical gear. Buffalo police said he planned to continue shooting, referring to evidence that indicated the suspect was going to target “another large superstore.” On Thursday, the shooting suspect was charged with a domestic act of terrorism motivated by hate in the first degree. This is the first time the charge has been levied since it was added to state law in 2020, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn announced.
  • Uvalde, Texas: An 18-year-old gunman killed 21 people — 19 students and two teachers — in a mass shooting at Robb Elementary school on May 24. Police said the shooter was able to enter the school through an unlocked door. Officials said while the shooter was in a classroom, as many as 19 officers were inside the school for more than 45 minutes before the suspect was killed. The school district police chief decided not to immediately breach the classroom where the shooter was. The gunman was a local high school student who officials said legally purchased two assault rifles and scores of ammo.
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma: A gunman killed four people — two doctors and two others — at Saint Francis Hospital on Wednesday. The shooter entered a physician’s office building and shot dead his surgeon, Dr. Preston Phillips along with three other people before killing himself. Officials say they found a letter on the suspect saying he blamed the doctor for ongoing pain following surgery. The other victims just “stood in the way,” police said. The shooter had just earlier that afternoon legally purchased one of the firearms used in the slaughter, an AR-15 style rifle, city Police Chief Wendell Franklin said during a news conference.

Amanda Glenn, victim of Tulsa hospital shooting, remembered as a kind soul and a loving mother of two boys

Amanda Glenn has been identified as one of the victims of Wednesday’s shooting at Tulsa’s Saint Francis Hospital campus, the city’s Police Chief Wendell Franklin said during a news conference Thursday morning. 

Glenn was a receptionist at St. Francis Hospital’s Warren Clinic, Franklin confirmed.

Her friend of five years, Amy Pennington, told CNN that Glenn was a mother of two boys who always had her sons in mind whenever she did anything. 

She described Glenn as one of the “proudest mothers” she has ever met and said she shared a strong bond with her sons, who she said were proud “mamas boys.” 

Glenn is also survived by her husband. 

“She was a hard worker, kind soul, and would do anything for you,“ Pennington added. 

Democrats confront reality on gun talks as senators search for "incremental" deal with GOP

Senate Democrats are ready to drop some of their most pressing demands to restrict access to guns amid the nationwide onslaught of deadly massacres — but even that may not be enough to reach a deal with Republicans. 

“I’m certainly prepared for failure,” Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat helping lead the talks, told CNN on Thursday. “I’ve been here enough times to know that this is probably the most politically complicated and emotionally fraught piece that Congress deals with.” 

Murphy, who is part of a bipartisan group of senators working behind the scenes to respond to deadly gun-related massacres nationwide, acknowledged in an interview that any accord would have to be “incremental” in order to win at least 10 Republicans to break a filibuster in the 50-50 Senate – even as he expressed optimism that a deal could be reached by next week. 

“I’ve also heard Republicans make clear that as long as we’re not talking about doing everything at once, as long as we’re talking about more incremental but significant changes, they’re open,” said Murphy, who has been briefing President Biden on the state of the talks. 

Indeed, as House Democrats plan to move forward with a bill to ban so-called assault weapons, Senate Democrats are not even discussing a ban on firearms such as AR-15s, the high-powered rifle used in the Texas elementary school massacre and a spate of mass shootings. They are also conceding that a bipartisan bill to expand background checks on commercial firearm sales will have to be narrowed, even as the House passed a bill last year to mandate universal background checks on all commercial sales and private transfers as well. 

And sources in both parties told CNN that a push to raise the age to 21 for purchasing semi-automatic rifles has yet to gain much traction in Senate talks, as Republican opposition to the idea begins to mount and Democrats are uncertain whether such an idea can win the necessary 60 votes to break a filibuster. 

“That’s hard to see,” one GOP source said of raising the age to 21 for purchasing the weapons. 

“Not gonna happen,” Texas Sen. John Cornyn, a chief GOP negotiator, tweeted about imposing new restrictions on guns, though his office declined to specify what he meant. 

Asked last week about raising the age to 21 for buying the powerful guns, North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis – a Republican involved in the bipartisan talks – was skeptical.

“When I think of that, I think, do we take a look at the age you can enlist in the military?” Tillis said. “So there are a lot of complexities to that question.”

Indeed, even after the Democratic concessions on gun control, senators say, the prospects that bipartisan talks could collapse in the coming days are very real. 

Murphy and Blumenthal have been here before – ever since the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in their home state of Connecticut. And even soon after the murder of 20 young children and six adults there, Democrats fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance a bill by Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania to mandate background checks on firearm sales at gun shows and over the Internet.  

Numerous legislative efforts in the wake of many subsequent mass shootings have also floundered, including an effort by Murphy to revive the Manchin-Toomey bill last year by simply closing the so-called gun show loophole and leaving out background checks on Internet sales altogether. But despite Murphy’s talks with Sen. Lindsey Graham on the matter last year, the renewed push never materialized into a deal.  

“It’s too broad,” the South Carolina Republican told CNN when asked if he could get behind the Manchin-Toomey plan in the aftermath of last week’s Uvalde, Texas, massacre. 

Yet even so, senators are reengaging in talks in a way different than other mass shootings given the scale of the Uvalde massacre, with the murder of 19 children and two adults at Robb elementary school – at the hands of an 18-year-old with an AR-15. Senators say a deal must be reached by sometime next week, or nothing will get done – again. 

“I think next week is critical,” Murphy said, given that senators have been at home during this week’s recess and return to Washington next week. “My hope is that we’ll have a product for both Republicans and Democrats to look at when we return. And that will give us a sense as to whether we can get this passed. Every day that goes by I’m more optimistic. But I don’t think we’ll really know until everybody gets back in town.” 

CNN’s Ted Barrett and Morgan Rimmer contributed reporting to this post.

Tonight's remarks will amount to Biden's most fulsome speech about guns since the Texas school shooting

President Biden will deliver a rare evening speech on guns today to press US lawmakers to take action as the US confronts another mass shooting.

Biden plans to discuss “the recent tragic mass shootings, and the need for Congress to act to pass commonsense laws to combat the epidemic of gun violence that is taking lives every day,” the White House said in announcing the speech.

The remarks will amount to Biden’s most fulsome speech about guns since a massacre at a Texas elementary school last week.

Since then, a string of additional mass shootings have unfolded in states across the country, including in Tulsa Wednesday. That shooting left five dead, including the gunman.

In the hours after the Texas massacre, Biden delivered an emotional seven-minute speech at the White House, calling the repeated gun killings of Americans “sick.”

“Why? Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen?” he asked.

Since then, however, Biden has only selectively waded into the debate over gun control, stopping short of endorsing any specific legislative action to prevent further carnage.

On Wednesday, the President expressed scant optimism Congress would agree on new gun control legislation, even as a bipartisan group of senators meets to weigh options.

“I served in Congress for 36 years. I’m never confident, totally,” Biden said when asked whether he believed lawmakers would agree on new gun laws.

“It depends. So I don’t know,” Biden said. “I’ve not been in the negotiations as they’re going on right now.”

The lukewarm response was an indication Biden is wary of associating too closely with the nascent efforts on Capitol Hill to arrive at a gun control compromise.

While Biden said Tuesday he would speak with lawmakers about guns, the White House later said he would only become involved when the time is right.

Both Biden and his advisers have suggested they have exhausted their options on executive action to address guns, though continue to explore avenues for unilateral action.

“There’s the Constitution. I can’t dictate this stuff. I can do the things I’ve done, and any executive action I can take I’ll continue to take. But I can’t outlaw a weapon, I can’t change the background checks. I can’t do that,” he said Monday.

Speaking a day after consoling families in Texas, Biden expressed limited hope that certain Republicans, like Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and one of his top allies, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, could be convinced to support some type of new gun laws.

“I don’t know, I think there’s a realization on the part of rational Republicans, and I consider McConnell a rational Republican, Cornyn as well. There’s a recognition on their part they can’t continue like this,” he said.

Keep reading here.

House Judiciary Committee takes up wide-ranging package of gun control legislation after series of shootings

The House Judiciary Committee is holding a markup on Thursday of a wide-ranging package of gun control legislation called the “Protecting Our Kids Act,” as lawmakers face intense pressure to act in the wake of recent mass shootings.

House Democrats are moving to tee up votes on gun bills in the aftermath of a series of horrific shootings that have shocked the nation, including at a Tulsa hospital complex, an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and a supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York.

Many of these measures are unlikely to pass the Senate, however, amid widespread GOP opposition to stricter gun control. A bipartisan group of senators is engaging in talks in an attempt to find common ground on gun policy, but it is still unclear what, if anything, will come of the effort.

The “Protecting Out Kids Act,” put forward by Democrats, includes a series of individual bills aimed at preventing gun violence. The measure would raise the legal age to buy certain semiautomatic centerfire rifles from 18 to 21 years old, establish new federal offenses for gun trafficking and for selling large-capacity magazines, and allow local governments to compensate individuals who surrender such magazines through a buyback program. It would create a tax incentive for retail sales of safe storage devices and criminal penalties for breaking new requirements regulating firearm storage on residential premises. The measure would also take steps to strengthen existing federal regulations on bump stocks and ghost guns.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, on Thursday called for the passage of the measures to prevent gun violence, emphasizing a sense of urgency after what happened in Uvalde and Buffalo as well as other incidents.

“We have to enact strong laws to protect our people. And if all these mass shootings don’t do it, I don’t know what will,” he said.

Nadler said that he’s hopeful that this time may be different, but “can’t speak for the Senate.”

Most legislation requires 60 votes to overcome a filibuster and pass in the Senate and Democrats only control 50 seats. At least 10 Republicans would need to vote with Democrats to pass new gun laws as a result, an unlikely prospect.

Read the full story here:

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) speaks during a hearing on oversight of the Justice Department and a probe into the politicization of the department under Attorney General William Barr on Capitol Hill, June 24, 2020 in Washington, DC.

House Judiciary Committee approves wide-ranging gun control legislation in wake of mass shootings

Vice President Harris urges Congress to act on gun violence: "No more excuses" 

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a conference on Wednesday, June 1, in Washington, DC. 

Vice President Kamala Harris said the White House has been “monitoring the situation quite closely” in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Thursday, after a gunman opened fire in a hospital.

“The latest report, of course, is that four innocent people lost their lives, and many more were injured,” Harris said, speaking at an event at the Department of Education. “We of course, all of us, hold the people of Tulsa in our hearts, but we also reaffirm our commitment to passing common sense gun safety laws.”

Harris said that while Biden has “taken more executive action to combat gun violence than any other President at this point in their administration,” the administration can’t do it on its own and needs the support of lawmakers.

Hospital sets up donation fund after Tulsa shooting

Emergency personnel work at the scene of a shooting at the Saint Francis hospital campus, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 1.

Saint Francis Health System has set up a donation site to help those impacted by the Tulsa shooting, according to a post on their website

“Saint Francis Health System is committed to taking care of our own,” the statement said, adding that it is “committed to supporting the families of our caregivers who were senselessly killed.” 

On Wednesday, a gunman killed four people and injured several others when he opened fire in a Tulsa medical building. 

Following an “outpouring of calls and comments from the community,” Saint Francis Health System set up a fund “with the Tulsa Community Foundation to accept donations to assist with this cause.”  

Those funds collected will support victims’ families and employees impacted. 

The website lists several ways the community can donate. 

Friends and colleagues remember doctor killed in shooting: "He made the world a better place"

Dr. Preston Phillips, right, and Dr. Komi Folly during a medical mission in Togo in 2019.

Dr. Preston Phillips, one of the doctors killed in a shooting at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa on Wednesday, is being remembered by friends and colleagues as a kind man who made a positive impact.

Ruth Folly, a surgical technician at the hospital, went on several medical missions with Phillips.  

Folly said Phillips traveled yearly with the nonprofit organization, Light in the World Development Foundation. The group, which was founded by Folly’s father, aims to provide surgical services to those in need. 

She described Phillips as a “guy you can rely on and someone you want to have in your life because he was such a fun and loving guy.” Folly said he went on a mission every year since 2016, except for when the trip was canceled because of Covid-19 in 2020.

“You always call me a son and I call you father. You told me last week at work during lunchtime to not stop this project in Togo in case something happens to you. I did not know that you were giving me the last advice for our journey,” her father, Dr. Komi Folly, wrote on Facebook.

Sandy Thompson, another friend of Phillips, met the doctor at their local tennis club and described him as “a wonderful, gentle, kind person with an infectious smile and kind word for everyone.”

Thompson fondly remembered Phillips as a “true gentleman” who never failed to look you in the eye and give you a bright, genuine smile and warm greeting. ‘’

President Biden will deliver remarks on guns at 7:30 p.m. ET tonight

President Joe Biden attends a meeting on June 1, in Washington, DC.

President Biden is expected to give an address on guns at the White House at 7:30 p.m. ET tonight.

The White House said the President will “deliver remarks on the recent tragic mass shootings, and the need for Congress to act to pass commonsense laws to combat the epidemic of gun violence that is taking lives every day.” 

His speech comes one day after a hospital complex shooting in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and just over a week after a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and two weeks after a racially-motivated mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York. 

Biden had been privately considering delivering an address on the recent mass shootings even before four people were killed in Tulsa Wednesday night, aides say.

The discussions continued throughout Thursday morning with the President ultimately making the decision to speak at the White House before he was scheduled to depart Washington, DC, for a few days. 

Biden has been briefed three times in the last three weeks on these shootings. 

He was spending time with family at his home in Wilmington, Delaware, when he was told by his homeland security adviser that 10 people had been gunned down in a grocery store in a racist attack in Buffalo.

He was flying back from his first trip to Asia when aides delivered the latest on a gunman opening fire on elementary school classrooms in Uvalde. And he was in Washington Wednesday night when he received a third briefing, this time for a shooting at a medical building in Tulsa. 

Police chief says gunman purchased weapons legally

Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said the gunman who killed four people at a Tulsa hospital complex legally purchased two weapons.

“The information that we have at the current time is that [they] were legally purchased firearms: one purchased an hour and some change before the actual shooting event took place, and the other purchased three days before the shooting took place,” he said.

Earlier in the news conference, Franklin said the gunman purchased an AR-15 style semiautomatic rifle around 2 p.m. local time Wednesday. He had previously purchased a 4.0-caliber semiautomatic handgun on May 29.

Patient killed in Tulsa shooting held door closed so others could escape, police chief says

Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said a patient, William Love, who was killed by a gunman Wednesday along with two doctors and a receptionist, held a door closed to let others escape the attack.

“I do know that the patient victim held a door closed, I believe, is the information that I have, to allow someone to escape out of another door,” the police chief said.

He added that he did not have information on anyone who held a door open to let others escape.

Police are investigating bomb threat reported at suspect's home, chief says

Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin speaks during a press conference on June 2.

Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said police are investigating a bomb threat that was reported in Muskogee, Oklahoma, around the same time as the Wednesday shooting in Tulsa.

Franklin said he believed it was at the shooting suspect’s home, but police are still investigating it.

“We are still working to determine exactly how that came in,” he said at a news conference Thursday. “We do know that there was a response in Muskogee towards a bomb call. I believe it was at the suspect’s residence, but we are still working through that portion to determine exactly what transpired there. 

Tulsa police chief says goal in active shooter situation is to stop threat "by any means necessary"

Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin outlined the process that his department follows once there is an active shooter situation.

He said the activation occurs through the 911 system that alerts every city police officer.

“So when we get that call, we are going to disregard any safety measures that we might have for ourselves and we are going to go in the building to deal with the threat. Our philosophy is we will stop the threat and we will do that by any means necessary,” he said.

Law enforcement “performed heroically, in my opinion, and I cannot thank enough the response not only from our locals, but also from the FBI, the United States Marshals Service, the ATF,” he added.

2 doctors, receptionist and patient killed in Tulsa shooting, police say

Emergency personnel work at the scene of a shooting at the Saint Francis Hospital campus in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 1.

The victims of Wednesday’s shooting in a Tulsa medical building include two doctors, a receptionist and a patient, police said.

“They were there for medical service. The doctor was there providing care. They stood in the way. They stood in the way and [the suspect] gunned them down,” Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said.

The victims were identified as Dr. Preston Phillips, Dr. Stephanie Husen, Amanda Glenn and William Love.

“We are supposed to be the ones that are caring for others during tragedies like this. To think that our caregivers were the victims is just incomprehensible to me,” said Dr. Ryan Parker, St. Francis Hospital’s associate chief medical officer and emergency room physician.

“They died while serving others. They died in the line of duty,” she said.

Parker said she was in the emergency room last night after the shooting. 

Love, one of the victims, was a patient at the Warren Clinic, where the shooting occurred, Franklin said Thursday.  

“To the family of Mr. Love, I’m so sorry we couldn’t save you,” Parker said through tears. “When I woke this morning, I really just wanted this to all be a bad dream, but this is the reality of our world right now.” 

Husen was a doctor of osteopathic medicine.

Husen was “another one of the physicians that works in our orthopedic department,” said Dr. Cliff Robertson, president and CEO of St. Francis Health System said. “Stephanie is just, was, an incredible person.” 

Getting emotional, Robertson said Phillips “was the consummate gentleman.” 

“He was, he is a man that we should all strive to emulate and of everybody, the fact that some individual would go after Dr. Phillips, is mind-blowing,” Robertson said. “It is the ultimate loss for St. Francis and for Tulsa.”  

Glenn was a receptionist at the Warren Clinic, Franklin said during the news conference. 

“The three best people in the entire world that are the most committed to doing what they do every day and taking care of others didn’t deserve to die this way,” Robertson said.

Update: This post has been updated with the correct identification for Amanda Glenn.

Suspect killed doctor who performed back surgery on him in May, police chief says