Biden calls 9mm ‘high-caliber weapons’, suggests banning them


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President Biden took aim at 9mm handguns on Monday, appearing to suggest that “large caliber weapons” should be banned.

The president made the remarks outside the White House after returning from a visit to the site of a mass shooting in Texas where 21 people, including 19 schoolchildren, were killed last week.

President Joe Biden speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, May 30, 2022, after returning from Wilmington, Del.
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Recounting a visit to a trauma hospital in New York, Biden said doctors showed him x-rays of gunshot wounds.

“They said a .22 caliber bullet would lodge in the lungs, and we can probably get it out – we might be able to get it and save the life. A 9mm bullet blows the lung out of the body,” Biden said.

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“So the idea of ​​these high-caliber weapons is, uh, there’s just no rational basis in terms of self-protection, hunting,” Biden added. “Remember, the constitution was never absolute.”

“You couldn’t buy a cannon when the Second Amendment passed,” Biden said. “You couldn’t go out and buy a lot of guns.”

The president, however, ruled out the possibility of issuing an executive order on firearms, saying, “I can’t dictate that stuff.”

UVALDE, TEXAS - MAY 26: A memorial surrounds the Robb Elementary School sign following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 26, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas.  According to reports, 19 students and 2 adults were killed, with the shooter shot dead by law enforcement.

UVALDE, TEXAS – MAY 26: A memorial surrounds the Robb Elementary School sign following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 26, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. According to reports, 19 students and 2 adults were killed, with the shooter shot dead by law enforcement.
(Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

“I can do the things I’ve done and any executive action I can take I will continue to do. But I can’t ban a gun. I can’t change a background check. I can’t do that,” he said.

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Biden’s comments were in line with his tough stance on guns during the 2020 presidential campaign. Speaking at a fundraising event in Seattle in November 2019, Biden said he supports the Second Amendment , but called absolutist gun rights arguments “weird”.

“Why should we allow people to have military style weapons, including pistols with 9mm bullets and holding 10 or more rounds,” he said.

The 9mm cartridge is the most popular handgun caliber in the United States, accounting for more than half of all handguns produced in 2019, according to Shooting Industry magazine. Data showed that throughout the 2010s, 9mm pistols accounted for more than 40% of all pistols produced in the United States, or about four in ten pistols.

Children run to safety after escaping from a window during a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School where a gunman killed nineteen children and two adults in Uvalde, Texas, USA, May 24, 2022.

Children run to safety after escaping from a window during a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School where a gunman killed nineteen children and two adults in Uvalde, Texas, USA, May 24, 2022.
(Pete Luna/Uvalde Leader-News/Handout via REUTERS)

The Second Amendment is in the crosshairs again after a lone gunman, identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, killed 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, about 85 miles away. west of San Antonio.

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The assault was the deadliest shooting at a US elementary school since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, nearly a decade ago.


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