Biden Gun Speech Updates: What Biden Called for in His Gun Control Speech

Live Updates
  • Just over a week after 19 children and two teachers died in the Uvalde, Texas shooting, another deadly shooting happened in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
  • A gunman, armed with a rifle and handgun, killed four people at a Tulsa medical building on a hospital campus Wednesday, police said. The shooter is also dead, from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
  • A receptionist, a patient and two doctors were killed. One victim was the suspect's physician, who police believe to be the suspect's target.
  • This is the latest in a slew of mass shootings across the country, sparking a renewed call for better gun control legislation.
  • The U.S House Judiciary Committee is meeting to markup and vote on gun legislation Thursday.
  • President Joe Biden will speak Thursday night to address the recent mass shootings and urge Congress to pass "common sense" gun legislation.
  • Biden laid out seven specific proposals to curb gun violence, including reinstating the 1994 ban on assault rifles, enact "red flag" laws federally and repealing legislation protecting gun manufacturers from liability for mass shootings.

Live updates for this event have ended.

joe biden guns uvalde buffalo tulsa shooting
President Joe Biden addresses the nation about the recent gun violence. Biden is flanked by 56 candles representing victims of gun violence in the United States and its territories. Kevin Dietsch/Getty

What Biden Called for in His Gun Control Speech

President Joe Biden laid out seven specific proposals to reduce mass shootings.

"I know that we can't prevent every tragedy," said Biden. "But here's what I believe we have to do. Here's what the overwhelming majority American people believe we must do. Here's what the families in Buffalo and Uvalde in Texas told us we must do."

  • Reinstate the 1994 ban on semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines that covers nine categories of firearms, including AK-47s and AR-15s.
  • "And if we can't ban assault weapons, then we should raise the age to purchase them from 18 to 21," said Biden.
  • Strengthen background checks for gun sales.
  • Enact laws requiring firearms to be safely stored and to use trigger locks, while holding gun owners accountable if they don't.
  • Enact a national "red flag" law that can be used to block access to firearms if someone is demonstrating violent tendencies.
  • "We should repeal the liability shield that often protects gun manufacturers from being sued for the death and destruction caused by their weapons," said Biden.
  • Saying there is a serious youth mental health crisis, Biden called for "more school counselors, more school nurses more mental health services for students and for teachers."

'More Kids than On-Duty Cops Killed by Guns'

President Joe Biden said that for the last two decades guns have killed more children in the U.S. than "than on-duty police officers and active duty military combined."

"Think about that," Biden said during his national address on gun safety. "More kids than on-duty cops killed by guns, more kids than soldiers killed by guns. For God's sake how much more carnage are we willing to accept? How many more innocent American lives must be taken before we say, 'Enough?'"

Biden also cited new data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention showing that guns are the leading cause of death of children in the U.S., surpassing car accidents and cancer.

'Machine Guns Regulated for 90 Years, Still A Free Country'

President Joe Biden began his national address on gun violence by arguing that decades-old firearm restrictions haven't erased Second Amendment rights.

Seeking to blunt arguments that any gun control measure would violate the Constitution, Biden said that fully automatic machine guns have been federally regulated for nearly 90 years.

"And this is still a free country," said Biden.

Quoting the late conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Biden said "like most rights, the rights granted by the Second Amendment are not unlimited."

"This isn't about taking away anyone's rights," said Biden. "It's about protecting children. It's about protecting families. It's about protecting whole communities. It's about protecting our freedom to go to school, to a grocery store, to a church—not be shot and killed."

Biden Gun Speech Live Updates: How to Watch

biden speech shooting uvalde buffalo tulsa gun
President Joe Biden is planning to speak to the nation Thursday night at 7:30 ET. He will address the recent shootings in Tulsa, Uvalde and Buffalo. Chip Somodevilla/Getty

President Joe Biden is expected to speak to the nation at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. The speech will be live-streamed via the White House's official YouTube channel.

In addition, it will be broadcast on television and radio by most news outlets, as well as C-SPAN.

Biden will address the recent shootings in Buffalo, Tulsa and Uvalde, Texas, and is expected to call on Congress to pass legislation addressing gun violence.

Coco Gauff Says 'End Gun Violence' After Semifinal Win

American tennis star Coco Gauff called for an end to gun violence on Thursday after winning her semifinal match at the French Open.

Gauff, 18, is now preparing to compete in the Grand Slam final for her first time. Her success in the sport comes amid a wave of mass shootings in the U.S., which has revived the debate about gun legislation.

After the semifinal match was over, videographers captured Gauff walking over to one camera and writing a message on the lens' protective screen.

"Peace," Gauff wrote. "End Gun Violence."

She signed the message with her first name and a heart.

Speaking with ESPN about her upcoming Grand Slam final, Gauff said she planned to approach it "like another match."

Gauff acknowledged the "many things" currently happening in the U.S. and the world at large, and told ESPN, "I think it's not important to stress over a tennis match."

One Victim 'Sacrificed His Life' for Wife, Police Say

One of the individuals who was killed in Wednesday's shooting "sacrificed his life" to protect his wife, Tulsa police said Thursday.

Police shared a post on Facebook Thursday evening that provided information on the four shooting victims. The department identified the victims by name earlier Thursday during a morning press conference and said its new post on Facebook was meant to "honor and remember the four victims who died."

In addition to the two doctors and receptionist who were fatally shot, police said during their morning press conference that a patient had also died. In the department's Facebook post, police wrote first of that patient, identified as 73-year-old William Love. Love served in the military for nearly three decades, which included a tour in Vietnam, and retired as an Army First Sergeant.

Love was with his wife at the time the shooting occurred, according to police.

"William Love's family would like us to share that at the time of shooting, William heard the gunshots and knew his wife would not be able to escape the building on her own," the department's post said. "He sacrificed his life for her."

Oklahoma Democrats Pitch 'Life-saving' Gun Law Ideas

Democrats in Oklahoma's House of Representatives are calling for "responsible" and "life-saving" action on state gun legislation in the wake of Wednesday's shooting at a Tulsa medical building.

Within hours of the shooting, the Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus said it would hold a press conference on Thursday at the State Capitol "to discuss the need for responsible public safety legislation."

The state's House Democratic Caucus went on to introduce the Stand Against Violence and Extremism (SAVE) Act, which "repeals existing laws deregulating gun use in Oklahoma" and "institutes popular, bipartisan solutions to gun violence."

Among the proposed policy changes are a repeal of the the state's permitless carry law, the implementation of a statewide red flag law, the addition of waiting periods for firearm purchases, and an increase to the minimum age for legal purchases.

The House Democratic Caucus is calling upon the state's Republican governor, Kevin Stitt, and Republicans in the state legislature to consider "responsible gun legislation" during a special legislative session, according to tweets posted by Democratic state Rep. Monroe Nichols.

"The specific steps we are calling for will have an immediate impact on safety for all Oklahomans while also responsibly upholding the 2nd amendment," Nichols said.

Oklahoma House Democrats also shared a comment from Nichols in a tweet announcing the proposed SAVE Act.

"Donald Trump supported red flag laws when he was president," the quote attributed to Nichols said. "The solutions we are presenting are not 'liberal' ideas. They are common-sense, life-saving ideas."

Hospital CEO Calls Doctor's Death 'the Ultimate Loss'

Cliff Robertson, the president and CEO at Saint Francis Health System, became emotional when asked on Thursday to speak about one of the people who died during Wednesday's shooting.

Preston Phillips was one of four people killed by the suspected shooter. Phillips, a surgeon at Saint Francis, appeared to have been targeted by the shooting suspect, one of Phillips' patients. Police said they found a letter written by the suspect that was in the suspect's possession at the time he died.

The letter "made it clear that he came in with the intent to kill Dr. Phillips and anyone who got in his way," Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said during a Thursday press conference. The suspect "blamed Dr. Phillips" for what Franklin described as "ongoing pain" following a recent surgery.

"This was something that was planned," Franklin said of the shooting.

During the same press conference, Robertson described Phillips as "the consummate gentleman."

"He was—he is—a man that we should all strive to emulate," Robertson said.

He went on to say that the idea of a person targeting Phillips was "mind-blowing."

"He's one of those folks that, you know, tends to his clinic and cannot always be on time because he will spend every minute with patients that they need," Robertson said. "He is one of those doctors that was cut from the cloth of four decades ago, in terms of how he felt about people and how he felt about his calling."

Robertson concluded his comments about Phillips by saying the surgeon's death was not just a "shock" but "the ultimate loss for Saint Francis and for Tulsa."

Hospital CEO calls doctor’s death “ultimate loss"
Saint Francis Hospital CEO Cliff Robertson speaks during a press conference at Saint Francis Hospital on June 2, 2022 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. J Pat Carter/Getty Images

Fund to Help Hospital Employees, Families of Victims

The Saint Francis Health System is partnering with the Tulsa Community Foundation to start a fund to help victims and their families cope with the deadly hospital shooting Wednesday.

The Saint Francis Employee Emergency Fund will offer services, including counseling, to members of the health system and their families.

Funds will be used to support the victim's families and employees affected by the "incomprehensible" incident.

"We are also committed to supporting the families of our caregivers who were senselessly killed," the fundraising page said. "There has been an outpouring of calls and comments from the community asking how they can offer help to the families of the deceased as well as our employees who are grieving."

Harris Calls for Gun Control Action, 'No More Excuses'

Vice President Kamala Harris addressed the recent mass shootings across the country Thursday.

She said the White House is monitoring the situation in Tulsa, Oklahoma "closely."

"We of course, all of us, hold the people of Tulsa in our hearts," she said. "But, we also reaffirm our commitment to passing common sense gun safety laws."

Harris said President Joe Biden has taken more executive action to combat gun violence than any other president at this point their administration. But the administration, she said, cannot address this issue alone.

"No more excuses," she said. "Thoughts and prayers are important, but are not enough. We need Congress to act"

Kamala Harris Guns
US Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the Department of Education in Washington, DC, on June 2, 2022. OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

'What the Hell Are You Waiting for,' Nadler Asks

Giffords, the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, shared a clip of Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York delivering opening remarks to the House Judiciary Committee about gun safety legislation.

Nadler, the committee's chairman, was presiding over an emergency hearing Thursday morning to discuss the proposed "Protecting Our Kids Act," which Democrats have described as a "common sense gun bill."

"It has been a week since we learned again that gun violence can reach any of our children and grandchildren at any time, and that no number of armed guards can guarantee their safety, Nadler said. "It has not even been 24 hours since the last mass shooting, and who knows how long until the next one. Too soon? My friends, what the hell are you waiting for?"

Nadler cited recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which said 45,222 people across the country died of firearm-related injuries in 2020. While Nadler said the proposed legislation "will not, alone, save every life we will lose to gun violence this year," he said it "will save some."

Giffords shared a 50-second clip from Nadler's opening remarks, which lasted for about seven minutes.

"You say it's too soon to take action, that we are politicizing these tragedies to enact new policies," Nadler said. He went on to list 10 mass shootings in recent American history, starting with Columbine 23 years ago and ending with references to the school shooting in Uvalde last week and the shooting at a medical center in Tulsa on Wednesday.

"THIS," Giffords said in a tweet accompanying the clip. "Thank you, @RepJerryNadler."

Nadler delivers opening remarks
Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) speaks during a House Judiciary Committee markup hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on June 2, 2022 in Washington, D.C. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

House Judiciary Committee Debates Gun Laws

The House Judiciary Committee met Thursday to markup a proposed gun legislation called the "Protecting Our Kids Act" amid a recent slew of mass shootings across the country.

Committee Chair Jerry Nadler blasted his Republican colleagues for saying it is "too soon" to take action and that Democrats are "politicizing" these tragedies.

"Too soon? Our friends, what the hell are you waiting for?," Nadler said, after listing several mass shooting events from Columbine to Tulsa.

He said "no one believes" violent videogames and movies are to blame for mass shootings, as other countries engage with the same media.

"Only in the U.S. do we ask the parents of elementary school children to stand in line so we can match their DNA to the remains of their children," he said. "Because only the United States is awash in 400 million guns."

Judiciary Committee Gun Laws
Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NYO speaks as Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-OH) listens during a House Judiciary Committee mark up hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on June 02, 2022 in Washington, DC. Anna Moneymake/Getty Images

Nadler said this bill links together "important, sensible, overwhelming popular" proposals that will scale back the scope of gun violence in the U.S.

This bill includes measures to:

  • Raise the lawful age to purchase an AR-15 semiautomatic assault rifle from 18 to 21 years old
  • Make it a federal offence to import, sell, manufacture, transfer or possess large capacity magazines for civilians
  • Establish new federal offenses for gun trafficking and straw purchasing, where the vast majority of firearms used in criminal activity are transported into cities from states with weak gun laws
  • Ensure that ghost guns are subject to existing federal firearms regulations
  • Establish standards for safe residential firearm storage and award grants for safe firearm storage programs
  • Build on existing regulations banning the manufacture, sale or possession of bump stocks for civilian use

"The Protecting Our Kids Act will not save every life we might potentially lose to gun violence. But it could save many," the fact sheet from House Judiciary Democrats said. "And it might have saved those innocent children and teachers in Uvalde or those elderly shoppers in Buffalo."

Republican Representative Jim Jordan, the ranking member of the Committee, said the gun law package was "political theater."

"No one wants another tragedy, no one wants this to happen again," he said. "That's why it's regretful that Democrats have rushed to a markup today in what seems more like political theater than a real attempt at improving public safety or finding solutions."

He said Democrats did not reach out to Republicans to seek their input on this legislation, adding that "this is not a real attempt in my judgment to find solutions."

Other Democrats urged for immediate action to save lives amid a gun violence crisis. Representatives called for restrictions on the Second Amendment, like those on the First Amendment.

Republicans, however, said these laws are unconstitutional and ineffective. Many argued that Democrats only seek to punish law-abiding citizens who own guns and strip Americans of their rights with these proposed gun laws.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) speaks during a House Judiciary Committee mark up hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on June 02, 2022 in Washington, DC. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Republican Congressman Shows Guns During Committee Meeting

A Congressman showed off his guns during a House Judiciary Committee meeting to discuss gun legislation.

Republican Representative Greg Steube of Florida held up his guns as he spoke during the meeting via videoconference. He argued against the restrictions outlined in the bill would ban the magazines and guns he owns.

During his display, Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas chimed in, saying, "I hope the gun is not loaded."

Steube replied, "I'm at my house. I can do whatever I want with my guns."

He said Democrats want to "take away Constitutional rights" by attacking the Second Amendment.

Steube also attacked high crime rates in "anti-gun cities."

"These laws do nothing to stop crime and none here thinks they will actually stop mass shootings," he said. "This is a push to take away your right to carry whatever firearm you please in an attempt to defend yourself."

Bomb Threat May Have Been at Suspect's Home, Police Say

Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said officers are still in the process of investigating the circumstances surrounding a bomb threat Wednesday in Muskogee.

Shortly after the shooting in Tulsa at Saint Francis Health System, local media outlets reported that police had linked a bomb threat in nearby Muskogee to the shooting. Franklin said the threat may have been linked to the suspect's Muskogee home, but noted the investigation into the reported threat was ongoing.

"We are still working to determine exactly how that came in," Franklin said during a Thursday morning press conference.

"We do know that there was a response in Muskogee towards a bomb call," he continued. "I believe it was at the suspect's residence, but we are still working through that portion to determine exactly what transpired there."

Tulsa PD
Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Kennedy holds a press conference at Saint Francis Hospital on June 2, 2022 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. J Pat Carter/Getty Images

President Biden to Address Nation on Mass Shootings

President Joe Biden will address the nation on mass shootings and gun control legislation Thursday night.

Biden will speak about the mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, Uvalde, Texas and Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to the White House. He will also continue to call on Congress to pass "common sense laws to combat the epidemic of gun violence that is taking lives every day."

The address from Cross Hall will stream live on CSPAN at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Victim Reportedly Helped Another Person Escape

One of the victims reportedly held a door so another person could escape during the shooting, Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said during Thursday's press conference.

Preliminary information gathered by police suggests that the suspect "began firing at anyone that was in his way" once he entered the building, Franklin said.

"There are reports that one of the victims held the door for someone, to allow them to escape out of the back door, and was shot and killed," the chief said.

When reporters asked which of the victims was the one who reportedly held the door, Franklin initially said, "I don't know that I have that information."

"I do know that the patient victim held a door closed, I believe, is the information that I have, to allow someone to escape out of another door," he added.

Victim reportedly helped another person escape
Police officers patrol the Natalie Medical Building at Saint Francis Hospital campus in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 2, 2022. CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

Suspect Legally Purchased Gun Day of Shooting

The suspect purchased one semi-automatic rifle just hours before the shooting took place, Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said during the Thursday morning news conference.

Through its gun tracing program, the ATF tracked the suspect's purchase of one semi-automatic AR-15-style rifle from a local gun store, Franklin said. That purchase occurred at about 2 p.m. on Wednesday, he said, less than three hours before the shooting began.

The suspect also purchased a semi-automatic handgun on May 29 from a local pawn shop, Franklin said. That weapon was identified by Franklin as a 40-caliber Smith & Wesson pistol.

The initial information police have surrounding the shooting suggests the suspect purchased both guns legally.

"The information that we have at the current time is that they were legally purchased firearms, one purchased an hour and some change before the actual shooting event took place, and the other purchased three days before the shooting took place," Franklin said.

Saint Francis Official Calls Shooting 'Incomprehensible'

Dr. Ryan Parker M.D., the Associate Chief Medical Officer at Saint Francis Hospital, said she was "struggling with the right thing to say" following the shooting.

"We are supposed to be the ones that are caring for others in tragedies like this," she said. "To think that our caregivers were the victims in something like this is incomprehensible to me."

She said the hospital staff were "just starting to process the grief and emotions" of being on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. And now they must deal with this "tragedy."

Parker asked for prayers and thanked the security team and first responders who "without hesitation or fear were on scene to do what needed to be done."

"This is the reality of our world right now, and today our world and our Saint Francis family are devastated," she said. "Our job is to help and heal, and we are here to do our job, even if it's with broken hearts."

Ryan Parker
Saint Francis Associate Chief Medical Officer Ryan Parker speaks during a press conference at Saint Francis Hospital on June 2, 2022 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. J Pat Carter/Getty Images

Police Say Suspect Targeted His Doctor, Blamed for Back Pain

Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin gave the timeline for the shooting at Saint Francis Hospital.

At 4:52 p.m. CT on Wednesday, June 1, a doctor called 9-1-1 to report a shooting.

Tulsa Police received a call a minute later.

At 4:55 p.m., another person called the police to clarify that the shooting was in the Natalie Building.

First responders arrived at the scene at 4:56 p.m. Franklin called the scene an "exceedingly complex environment."

Officers entered the building and went to the second floor. They advanced towards the suspect's location and heard gunshots, Franklin said.

Franklin said officers believe that gunshot at 4:58 p.m. was the one where the gunman took his own life.

Officers then started to clear the building. They found a victim in an exam room. That person later died at the hospital.

A woman was rescued after hiding near the suspect. Franklin said she was there when the suspect took his own life. She was not injured.

There was another deceased victim found near the suspect and another in an open area near the nurses station. A third victim was found as well as an elderly woman who was rescued.

Then, officers found Dr. Philips dead in an exam room.

Franklin said officers later found a letter on the suspect making it clear that he came into the building to kill Dr. Philips "and anyone who came in his way." The suspect blamed Philips for his pain following his surgery, Franklin said.

At 5:24 p.m., Tulsa PD received a call from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office, about 30 minutes after the shooting. The dispatcher said a woman was on the line who called to say her husband killed several people at Dr. Philip's office.

Names of Victims Released, Including Two Doctors

Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin detailed the timeline of the shooting at Saint Francis Hospital and shared the names of the four victims in a press conference Thursday.

The victims include:

  • Dr. Preston Phillips
  • Dr. Stephanie Husen
  • Amanda Glenn
  • William Love

Glenn was a receptionist and Love was a patient.

The suspect's name is Michael Lewis.

Lewis had back surgery at the hospital on May 19. He saw Dr. Philips and was released May 24. Lewis then called several times over several days complaining of pain and wanting additional treatment.

Lewis saw Dr. Philips for additional treatment on May 31.

On June 1, Lewis called Dr. Philips office again complaining of back pain.

Franklin said Lewis purchased the semi-automatic rifle from a local gun store on June 1. He confirmed that Lewis bought the pistol on May 29 from a local pawn shop.

Tulsa Officials Hold Press Briefing

Tulsa officials will soon provide the latest details following Wednesday's shooting at Saint Francis.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum, Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin and Saint Francis Health System officials are all expected at a press conference Thursday morning. The briefing is scheduled for 10:15 a.m. CT at the Heart Hospital at Saint Francis. Watch live here.

Shooting Lasted Four or Five Minutes, Police Say

The shooting at Saint Francis Hospital campus last four or five minutes, officials said.

Tulsa Police Department Deputy Chief Eric Dalgleish said police arrived at the scene within four minutes.

Police responded to a call three minutes after dispatchers received the report of a shooting at 4:52 p.m. CT on Wednesday. Officers made contact with the gunman about five minutes later, at 5:01 p.m., Dalgleish said.

"I was very happy with what we know so far regarding the response of our officers," Dalgleish said.

When officers arrived, Dalgleish said they heard gun shots on the second floor, where four victims were found dead from gunshot wounds. Then the body of the gunman was found.

Dalgleish said the victims were likely both employees and visitors.

Police on Scene in Tulsa
Police respond to the scene of a mass shooting at St. Francis Hospital on June 1, 2022 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At least four people were killed in a shooting rampage at the Natalie Medical Building on the hospital's campus, according to published reports. The shooter is also dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to police J Pat Carter/Getty Images

Assault-Style Gun Bought Same Day as Shooting

The gunman was looking for a specific physician when he entered the Saint Francis Hospital campus Wednesday, officials said.

"The shooter could not find this physician, and that elicited you know, his behavior at the shootings," Tulsa City Council Member Jamye Fowler told CNN.

The assault-style weapon found on the scene was purchased the day of the shooting, CNN reports. The handgun found on the scene was purchased on May 29.

House Judiciary Committee Meets on Gun Legislation

The Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee will meet to markup and vote on gun legislation Thursday.

Lawmakers will discuss the "Protecting Our Kids Act," what Democrats call a "common sense gun bill" full of popular proposals to help scale back gun violence.

This bill includes several measures, including raising the age for buying certain semiautomatic centerfire rifles or shotguns from 18 to 21, banning the import, sale, manufacture or possession of certain large capacity magazines and establishing requirements for safe gun storage in homes.

The committee meeting will stream live on CSPAN and the House Committee on the Judiciary YouTube page at 10 a.m. ET.