US President Joe Biden has called on Congress to introduce “urgent” gun reforms after a mass shooting in Sacramento, California over the weekend.
Mr Biden said in a statement on Sunday that the US “urgently” needed to introduce a series of reforms to stop atrocities, including a ban on so-called “ghost weapons” that are privately manufactured.
Citing a range of reforms already introduced by his administration, Mr Biden added that more needs to be done, including legislation mandating background checks for all gun sales.
“Today, America mourns yet another community devastated by gun violence,” Biden said of the Sacramento shooting that killed six people. “But we must do more than just mourn; we have to take action”.
His testimony followed a mass shooting in Sacramento’s entertainment district on Sunday morning that killed six people and injured a dozen others.
At least two gunmen are on the run, according to police, and videos shared on social media appeared to show people fleeing the scene from gunfire. An investigation is underway.
Police say three men and three women were among the victims, who have not been officially named by authorities. Two victims were named by family and friends as Sergio Harris, 38, and DeVasia Turner, 29. The Sacramento Bee and ABC10 reported.
“The level of violence that has just happened in our city is unprecedented in my 27 years here,” Sacramento Police Chief Kathy Lester said at a news conference Sunday.
“We are shocked and heartbroken by this tragedy. But we are also determined as an agency to find those responsible and ensure justice for the victims and their families.”
Biden’s comments also included calls for Congress to “waive gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability” for mass shootings and for lawmakers to pass a budget proposal to give cities more funding to fight gun crime.
While California has one of the toughest gun control laws in the country, only New York has enacted laws allowing victims to sue gun manufacturers over shootings. A similar effort is being made in California to hold corporations accountable.
The remarks were among Mr Biden’s strongest yet on gun control and come after a string of deadly shootings in the US this year and the second mass shooting in Sacramento in recent weeks.
Additional coverage from the Associated Press.