February 14 marked the fourth anniversary of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida where 17 lives were taken. President Joe Biden released a statement today urging Congress to take steps to pass gun control legislation.

“We can never bring back those we’ve lost. But we can come together to fulfill the first responsibility of our government and our democracy: to keep each other safe,” Biden wrote in a statement. “For Parkland, for all those we’ve lost, and for all those left behind, it is time to uphold that solemn obligation.”

Biden promised to prioritize gun control and preventing violence if he were elected President, but legislation has not progressed during his first year in office.

“I have put forward a comprehensive plan to reduce gun crime that includes curbing the proliferation of “ghost” guns, cracking down on gun dealers who willfully violate the law, issuing model extreme risk protection order legislation for states, and promoting safe firearm storage, among other efforts,” Biden said.

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He said he also asked Congress to approve $5 billion to go toward reliable strategies for cutting down on gun violence.

Gun control legislation has been stalled in Congress. After last year’s November school shooting in Michigan, Senate Democrats sought gun control legislation, but it was blocked by Senate Republicans. In December, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) rejected the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 calling it “hostile towards lawful gun owners and lawful firearm transactions.”

“So-called universal background checks will not prevent crime and will turn otherwise law-abiding citizens into criminals,” Grassley argued at the time.

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