Skip to Content

Harris calls for assault weapons ban after back-to-back mass shootings


By Donald Judd and Devan Cole, CNN

Vice President Kamala Harris called for an assault weapons ban Saturday, saying that in the wake of two back-to-back mass shootings such arms are “a weapon of war” with “no place in a civil society.”

“On the issue of gun violence, I will say, as I’ve said countless times, we are not sitting around waiting to figure out what the solution looks like. You know, we’re not looking for a vaccine,” Harris told reporters in Buffalo, New York, after attending the funeral for a victim of a mass shooting there earlier this month. “We know what works on this. It includes, let’s have an assault weapons ban.”

“You know what an assault weapon is? You know how an assault weapon was designed?” she continued. “It was designed for a specific purpose — to kill a lot of human beings quickly. An assault weapon is a weapon of war with no place, no place in a civil society.”

The comments from the vice president come as the nation is reeling from both Buffalo, where 10 people were killed in a racist mass shooting at a supermarket, and from a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, earlier this week in which 19 children and two teachers were killed by a gunman.

Harris, who has previously called for an assault weapons ban, also on Saturday called for enhanced background checks for firearm purchases, noting that, to date, there have been over 200 mass shootings in the country, despite being “barely halfway through the year.”

“Everybody’s got to stand up and agree that this should not be happening in our country, and that we should have the courage to do something about it,” she said.

Harris did not respond to a reporter’s question on whether President Joe Biden would pursue an executive order if Congress failed to pass meaningful gun reform. The President said during a trip to Buffalo last week that there was “not much on executive action” that he could do to further strengthen gun control measures. He said he needed to instead “convince Congress” to pass legislation like the 1994 assault weapons ban.

Biden will visit Uvalde, Texas, on Sunday to meet the families of the children and teachers killed during the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.

Harris was in Buffalo on Saturday, along with Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, to attend the funeral of 86-year-old Ruth E. Whitfield, the eldest victim of the shooting at the Tops Friendly Markets store on May 14.

During the service at Mt. Olive Baptist Church, the vice president, who was invited to speak by the Rev. Al Sharpton, said the nation was “experiencing an epidemic of hate.”

Harris said the current moment “requires all good people, all God-loving people to stand up and say, ‘We will not stand for this — enough is enough, we will come together based on what we all know we have in common, and we will not let those people who are motivated by hate separate us or make us feel fear.”

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Nicquel Terry Ellis and Kate Sullivan contributed to this report.




  1. Not sure what she means by “assault weapons” . . . Literally, anything can be used as an “assault weapon”, from a kitchen knife, to a spork, or a rock. Now if she’s talking about an “assault RIFLE”, they are already “banned” from the general population. What Harris and many people believe an “assault weapon” is, is it’s black, scary looking, and has a large clip. You can take a simple Ruger 10-22 with walnut stock and that’s okay, but if you put a black, pistol grip stock (or folding stock) on it, it’s now an “assault RIFLE” . . . IT ISN’T! It’s still a sporting rifle. Some people also think that if you can put a large capacity magazine on it, it’s an “assault RIFLE” . . . an example would be an M1A, with a 20rd magazine . . . IT ISN’T! It’s still a sporting rifle. Some people think that if it simply looks like a military rifle, (example again, is an M1A) it’s an assault RIFLE . . . IT ISN’T! An M1A is a sporting rifle. Learn what an “assault RIFLE is and what makes it one! That brings up the discussion on the difference between a “clip” and a “magazine” . . . Nothing makes you look more stupid and uneducated than someone that doesn’t know the difference. Yes there used to me rifles that took clips, but those are extremely rare in semi-auto rifles today. Today, clips are used for reloading magazines that aren’t in the rifle and you’ll find it hard to find any full auto capable rifles that use clips throughout history. Same goes with pistols, but there have been a couple pistols that used “clips” to reload (C96 Broom handled Mauser is one of them). And not to forget, there are “clips” for some revolvers (half moon for example).

    1. – not sure eh? – why not flood a page with all your gun porn blather – that will keep kids safe – the ar, with .223 rounds was designed and built to inflict fatal damage to human flesh, as quickly as possible – mission accomplished – sorry for interrupting, blather on about the minutiae – very exciting stuff – people have a bunch of funerals to go to…. “And not to forget”

      1. WRONG! The .223 was designed to primarily for varmints! Because of that, it is illegal in many states for bigger game, such as deer hunting. The 5.56 is a bit faster, but designed for a FMJ and to wound only. Your ignorance is astounding! One of the biggest complaints you hear about 5.56, is that it only wounds and isn’t lethal enough . . . but, that is what it was designed to do. If you kill the enemy will leave them, but if you wound them, it’s going to remove additional soldiers from battle to transport and treat. Sorry for interrupting, blather on things you don’t know or understand the reasoning on. You’ve been adamant about pointing out what you consider false or misleading information, yet here you are doing exactly that. I was in the Army/Infantry when we switched from M14’s to M16A1’s. I know what we were told and what the reasons were we were given. It’s more humane to wound than to kill.

      1. The folding shovel the Army uses was designed for combat as well . . . It’s just another tool available in combat. Same with the K-Bar. Want to guess what signal flares were designed for? Or illumination rounds? How about armored vehicles, now used for money transfers? Why are sniper rifles based on sporting rifles? Why tell that to 9 year olds when you won’t even listen?

  2. Only gun that kills without being fired was by Alec Baldwin. Not sure why he is not in jail. Probably because ha is a liberal Hollywood, Trump hating Democrat.

  3. Harris, speaks now about guns, but in the last 18 months, 276 “Kids” have been shot to death in Chicago alone. Not a peep about that. Why, those Black kids don’t mean anything to her??? Such a hypocrite and an embarrassment to the office. 100s of kids die every month from car accidents, so ban cars and save 1000s of kids every year. Oh wait, she likes cars, so that wont work. “We The People” really makes more sence now than ever.

Leave a Reply

Skip to content