The Washington Post

Biden: ‘I haven’t given up’ on assault weapons ban

While Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has declared that an assault weapons ban has no chance of passing, Vice President Biden says he is not giving up.

U.S. Vice President Biden speaks during a meeting on curbing gun violence at the White House in Washington File: Vice President Biden speaks during a meeting on curbing gun violence at the White House in Washington


"I am still pushing that it pass. We are still pushing that it pass," Biden told NPR. "The same thing was told to me when the first assault weapons ban in 1994 was attached to the Biden Crime bill; that it couldn't possibly pass. It was declared dead several times....  And, so, I haven't given up on this."

Biden did help pass an assault weapons ban in 1994, after initially laughing at the idea. But the ban had a 10-year expiration date and so many loopholes that many question its effectiveness.

Although he said he still wants the assault weapon ban, Biden said that if only universal background check legislation survives, "that would be gigantic."

The assault weapons ban never had much of a chance: The White House needs a bipartisan vote in the Senate on some sort of gun legislation, Senate Democrats up for reelection next year want to protect themselves, and Republicans have a majority in the House.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough has also pushed back on reports of the ban's demise, saying Tuesday that "we're going to find the votes." But at times the administration has deemphasized the assault weapons ban, and many liberals think the White House is using the ban as a bargaining chip to get background checks through Congress.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
The Democrats debated Thursday night. Get caught up on the race.
The Post's Chris Cillizza on the Democratic debate...
On Clinton: She poked a series of holes in Sanders's health-care proposal and broadly cast him as someone who talks a big game but simply can't hope to achieve his goals.

On Sanders: If the challenge was to show that he could be a candidate for people other than those who already love him, he didn't make much progress toward that goal. But he did come across as more well-versed on foreign policy than in debates past.
The PBS debate in 3 minutes
We are in vigorous agreement here.
Hillary Clinton, during the PBS Democratic debate, a night in which she and Sanders shared many of the same positions on issues
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the polls as he faces rivals Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz heading into the S.C. GOP primary on Feb. 20.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
62% 33%
Fact Checker
Trump’s claim that his border wall would cost $8 billion
The billionaire's claim is highly dubious. Based on the costs of the Israeli security barrier (which is mostly fence) and the cost of the relatively simple fence already along the U.S.-Mexico border, an $8 billion price tag is simply not credible.
Pinocchio Pinocchio Pinocchio Pinocchio
Upcoming debates
Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

March 3: GOP debate

on Fox News, in Detroit, Mich.

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.