President Biden, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and other prominent Democrats renewed calls for tighter gun laws on Wednesday after a deadly mass shooting at a California rail yard.

At least eight people were killed when an employee of the Valley Transportation Authority opened fire early Wednesday morning. The suspected gunman, Samuel Cassidy, took his own life as authorities responded to the scene.

“Once again, I urge Congress to take immediate action and heed the call of the American people, including the vast majority of gun owners, to help end this epidemic of gun violence in America,” Biden said in a statement. “Every life that is taken by a bullet pierces the soul of our nation. We can, and we must, do more.”

Biden has pushed an overhaul of gun laws in recent weeks in response to mass shootings across multiple states. In April, Biden unveiled a slate of executive actions aimed at curbing gun violence, including tightened restrictions on so-called homemade “ghost guns” and pistol-stabilizing braces. 

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He also called on the Justice Department to develop legislation for a “red flag” law that would temporarily block individuals identified as potential threats from possessing guns.


The debate over gun legislation has prompted heated clashes between Democratic and Republican lawmakers in recent years. Prominent Republicans have accused their political rivals of politicizing instances of gun violence to push long-desired changes to the Second Amendment, while Democrats argue the GOP’s unwillingness to tighten laws has contributed to a wave of mass shootings.

Newsom issued a similar call for action in response to the San Jose shooting. In the past, the California governor has blamed Republican lawmakers for failing to take action on gun control.

“What the hell is going on in the United States of America? What the hell is wrong with us? Newsom said. “When are we going to come to grips with this? When are we going to put down our arms – literally and figuratively – our politics, stale rhetoric, finger-pointing, all the hand wringing, consternation that produces nothing except more fury and frustration, more scenes like this, repeated over and over and over again.”

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