Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden on Tuesday marked the two-year anniversary of the Las Vegas Strip massacre — the most deadly mass shooting in recent U.S. history — by accusing President Trump of ignoring the scourge of gun violence.
The 2020 Democratic presidential front-runner said Mr. Trump’s inaction on gun control was a “capitulation” to the National Rifle Association.
“President Trump isn’t trying to solve this problem. He is in the pocket of the National Rifle Association. Just last week, he met behind closed doors with NRA leaders, looking for their support,” Mr. Biden said.
Though Mr. Biden often champions gun control, the Obama-Biden administration’s record on guns does not outshine Mr. Trump’s, with at least 41 mass shootings when Mr. Biden was in the White House and no major gun laws enacted or executive actions taken.
There have been about 20 mass shootings during nearly three years of the Trump presidency, according to a Washington Post tally that includes any shooting with at least four people shot and killed.
The statement Thursday from Mr. Biden marked the Oct. 1, 2017, attack by a lone gunman at a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip. The shooting took the lives of 58 people and injured hundreds more.
In response to the attack, in which the gunman used multiple rifles equipped with bump stocks that enable rapid machine gun-style firing, the Trump administration banned bump stocks.
Mr. Trump promised a package of new gun laws after the mass shooting in August in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that left a total of 32 people dead.
But the administration has not yet come forward with a proposal, and Mr. Trump has vacillated about the need for expanding background checks to purchase firearms.
Mr. Biden said that he would be able to beat the NRA and enact tough new gun laws.
“Anyone who pretends there’s nothing we can do is lying. I know, because I’ve done it before,” he said.
As he often does on the stump, Mr. Biden noted his success as a senator in helping pass the 1994 ban on military-style rifles or “assault weapons” and the 1993 Brady bill that established the national background check system.
The assault weapon ban expired in September 2004 and repeated attempts to resurrect have failed.
“We can beat the NRA; we can get those weapons of war off our streets, and we can make sure our children don’t grow up in constant fear,” Mr. Biden said. “Real leadership — moral leadership — can get these reforms done.”
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