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White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Tuesday said President Biden does not support a ban on the sale of all handguns as lawmakers continue to feel pressure to do something following a series of tragic mass shootings.
Jean-Pierre stated Biden’s position in response to a question from Fox News’ Peter Doocy about whether the president would support legislation similar to Canada that would implement a “national freeze on handgun ownership” in that country.
“He supports a ban on sales of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and expanded background checks to keep guns out of dangerous hands,” she said. “He does not support a ban on the sale of all handguns.”
On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a bill to freeze handgun ownership following the killing of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas.
“What this means is that it will no longer be possible to buy, sell, transfer or import handguns anywhere in Canada,” Trudeau said at a press conference.
“We recognize that the vast majority of gun owners use them safely and in accordance with the law, but other than using firearms for sport shooting and hunting, there is no reason anyone in Canada should need guns in their everyday lives.”
That same day, Biden appeared to suggest that 9mm be characterized as ‘high-caliber’ weapons and should be banned. The remarks came outside the White House following his trip to Uvalde.
Recounting a visit to a New York trauma hospital, Biden said doctors showed him X-rays of gunshot wounds.
“They said a .22-caliber bullet will lodge in the lung, and we can probably get it out — may be able to get it and save the life. A 9mm bullet blows the lung out of the body,” Biden said.
“So, the idea of these high-caliber weapons is, uh, there’s simply no rational basis for it in terms of self-protection, hunting,” Biden added. “Remember, the Constitution was never absolute.”
“You couldn’t buy a cannon when the Second Amendment was passed,” Biden said. “You couldn’t go out and purchase a lot of weaponry.”
Jean-Pierre said Biden was looking at other executive actions that can be taken on gun reform and has called on Congress to act.
“He wants to make sure there’s action,” she said. “The president has made this one of his priorities from the first day that he walked into this administration and now he’s calling on Congress to act.”
Handguns in 9mm are the most popular in the United States, and are not considered “high-caliber” by most firearms experts.
Fox News’ Bradford Betz contributed to this report.