Harris: Stop making weapons available to civilians

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks as President Joe Biden looks on, during an event to celebrate the passage of the "Bipartisan Safer Communities Act," a law meant to reduce gun violence, on the South Lawn of the White House, Monday, July 11, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks as President Joe Biden looks on, during an event to celebrate the passage of the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act,” a law meant to reduce gun violence, on the South Lawn of the White House, Monday, July 11, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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UPDATED 2:00 PM PT – Monday, July 11, 2022

Vice President Kamala Harris suggested American citizens should not have access to certain firearms and called for further restrictions. In an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Harris was asked about the recent assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

“I was shocked for so many reasons,” Harris said. “Beginning with the fact that Prime Minister Abe was a great friend to the United States through many administrations. Our President Joe Biden is very, very fond of him and knew him well.”

She offered condolences and addressed the troubling nature of his death, but did not comment on Japan’s strict gun laws. Instead she steered the conversation to the US and declared that no American would own a high powered rifle unless they had plans to murder people.

“Assault weapons were specifically and intentionally designed to kill a lot of human beings quickly,” she stated. “It is a weapon of war. If you’ve ever looked at, if I may be so blunt, an autopsy photograph to see what it does to the human body. The fact that we can’t get Congress to renew.  It’s not like we’re pulling something out of our hat. We’ve done it before as a nation to renew the assault weapons ban, is outrageous.”

The Democrat went on to suggest that if the weapons weren’t legally available mass shootings wouldn’t happen. Although Democrats control both chambers of Congress, any major gun reform legislation would require 60 votes in the Senate. That means that at least 10 Republicans would have to sign on to legislation for it to be viable.

“We have to stop allowing those weapons to be available to civilians living in communities who have a right to believe that they are not in a war zone,” she voiced.

The Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004, specifically outlawed 19 types of semi-automatic firearms, as well as other rifles, shotguns and handguns that possess two or more of a certain set of features. This included pistol grips, detachable magazines and sound suppressors. The maximum capacity of a magazine was also set at 10 rounds. The vice president went on to speak about her experience visiting Highland Park in Illinois where the tragic July 4 mass shooting took place.

“You can support the Second Amendment, I support the Second Amendment,” she expressed. “But we should agree we should not have weapons of war on the streets of America. Sadly a toddler lost both his parents. When I got to the scene I was greeted by the mayor, the chief and the first responders who told me that story. I can’t even imagine what this is going to mean for the life of that child.”

Harris said recent suspects have been able to slip past “red flag” laws simply because guns are available. She voiced that Congress must reinstate the so-called assault weapons ban of 1994.

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