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Biden Says He 'Has What It Takes' To Strengthen Gun Laws

John Pemble / IPR
Former Vice President Joe Biden said it violates no one's Second Amendment rights to tell people they can't own specific types of weapons.

Former Vice President Joe Biden said he has what it takes to strengthen gun laws in the country following mass shootings in Texas and Ohio last weekend. Biden told reporters at the Iowa State Fair Thursday that it violates no one’s Second Amendment right to tell people they can’t own certain weapons like an assault rifle. 

"We can get it done," Biden said. "We can get it done with background checks done. We can get it done because the public is finally at the point that it’s sick of it. It is sick of it. I’ve got it done before and I can get it done again."

Biden was referring to the Brady background check bill [Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act] of 1993, and bans on assault weapons and high capacity magazines [Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act] of 1994.  The latter expired in 2004.

Addressing a crowd at the Des Moines Register’s Political Soapbox at the fair, Biden presented himself as an experienced leader who can beat President Donald Trump in November, 2020.  Biden has been leading in Iowa polls since before he got into the race for the Democratic nomination.

Biden told the fair gathering the first thing he would do as president is rejoin the Paris Climate Accord. He also recalled coming to the Iowa State Fair 12 years ago and learning about wind energy.

"A lot of people out here didn’t think it was a good idea and then you started doing it, created 10,000 jobs, didn’t cause any cancer as the president says," Biden said. "Generated growth. Folks, we can invest. We will invest."

Biden said he would invest $44 billion in research and development for sequestering carbon. After his turn on the soapbox, Biden signed autographs and walked the concourse while a throng of reporters encircled him.

Clay Masters is the senior politics reporter for MPR News.