In a speech Thursday in Las Vegas, former vice president and Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden called out Sen. Bernie Sanders for voting against the 1993 Brady bill that installed a waiting period and a background check for handgun purchases.
“It’s just flat-out immoral, it’s just flat-out immoral,” Biden said of politicians who vote against gun control measures. He called politicians who oppose gun control “cowards.”
According to Politifact, Sanders did vote against different versions of the Brady Bill five times. However, he says on his campaign website that he is in favor of expanded background checks, a ban on the sale of assault weapons and other gun safety measures.
Biden told the Nevada chapter of Moms Demand Action at the Desert Breeze Community Center that whether he became president or not, he would fight for stricter gun control laws and a ban on assault rifles.
“Every day that we do nothing about this epidemic of assault, it’s an insult to the innumerable lives across this nation that have been forever shattered by this violence,” he said.
“I will get these weapons of war off the street again and out of our communities.”
Biden pledged that, if elected, he would send a bill to Congress on his first day in office that would repeal liability protection for gun manufacturers and close background check loopholes.
Stephanie Pizzoferrato, whose 4-year-old daughter Dayla was killed by a stray bullet, spoke in support of Biden. “This is not just a local problem, this has become a national epidemic, a crisis, and it requires a national solution,” she said. “Vote so that you will never know this pain.”
During his speech, Biden spoke out about recent mass shootings, including those at public schools and the Las Vegas shooting — where 58 people were killed on Oct. 1, 2017, at the Route 91 Harvest festival on the Strip.
He referenced Congressman Steven Horsford, D-Nev., who earlier told reporters and members of the gun control advocacy group that he was only 19 when his father was killed by gun violence.
Biden said gun violence happens in a variety of ways: stray bullets, mass shootings, accidental shootings, crime, a self-inflicted gun shot wound or domestic violence.
“Another normal day in America … For all the people across the country, normal has become living a nightmare,” he said. ”I don’t accept that we can’t stand up and say no more.”