Ten years ago, then vice-President Joe Biden stood on the podium at the South Court auditorium in the White House as leader of a task force to solve gun violence in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre.
Speaking to a group of Sandy Hook families in 2016, Biden expressed hope that change to gun laws was on the horizon.
At that time, Biden noted that he had advocated for seven years for change as a Senator before Congress enacted the decades-long assault weapons ban of 1994.
Wednesday (December 14) marks ten years since the mass shooting that claimed the lives of 20 elementary school children and six adults, and it’ll also be a time of reflection for many regarding the progress Congress has made on the issue of gun violence.
Biden has made addressing gun violence a cornerstone of his policy goals, repeatedly urging Congress to enact a similar ban on assault weapons, especially as mass shootings and gun violence only become more prevalent.
Last week while speaking at an annual vigil for victims of gun violence, Biden touted that his administration passed “the most significant gun law” in 30 years while emphasizing it is “still not enough.”
Lawmakers and advocates also believe the country is in a different place than it was when Sandy Hook occurred — a place where it’s ready to embrace stricter gun control laws.
In the wake of Sandy Hook, legislation to reinstate an assault weapon ban was introduced on the Senate floor; it only garnered 40 votes after several Democrats from swing states voted against it.
This year, lawmakers passed legislation that bolsters Red flag laws, enabling law enforcement to confiscate weapons from those deemed dangerous. The legislation also resulted in stricter background checks for gun buyers aged 18-21.