After Orlando shooting, White House demands Congress curb ‘weapons of war’

  • AFP, Washington
  • Updated: Jun 14, 2016 09:31 IST
People gather to protest gun violence and call for sensible gun laws outside the White House June 13, 2016, in Washington, DC. (AFP)

The White House on Monday demanded the Republican-controlled Congress pass legislation blocking extremists from obtaining assault weapons like the one used in the deadly shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

“There are certain common sense things that Congress could do that would make it harder for any individual to get their hands on a weapon of war,” said spokesman Josh Earnest following the Orlando shooting.

“The president has been quite frustrated, and in some cases even angry, about congressional inaction,” he said.

The White House singled out the AR-15, an assault weapon that was used by Omar Mateen in a rampage that killed 50 people at the Pulse nightclub.

Earnest said the weapon was designed for the battlefield, not for Florida’s streets.

For much of his eight years in office, Obama has butted heads with Congress over gun control.

A previous ban on assault weapons was in place for a decade, but lapsed under George W Bush’s presidency.

The White House blamed Republican fear of the high-spending gun lobby -- particularly the National Rifle Association -- for the unwillingness by conservatives to vote for the ban.

The organization pours tens of millions of dollars into the election campaigns of pro-gun politicians.

“The president believes that ban on assault weapons should be reinstated,” Earnest said.

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