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Biden thanks police for acting during UNLV shooting, renews calls for gun control measures

UNLV shooting victims identified
UNLV shooting victims identified 02:53

President Biden on Friday renewed his calls for an assault weapons ban and universal background checks to curtail gun violence after meeting with community members of the University of Nevada in Las Vegas in the wake of Wednesday's mass shooting on campus. 

Mr. Biden called for the gun control measures during a Las Vegas speech touting federal high-speed rail investments that had been scheduled before the shooting.

Three people were killed Wednesday and another injured when a man opened fire at the business school. The suspect was killed by law enforcement officers who rushed to the scene. 

"I'm grateful to the law enforcement officers who risked their lives and safety in the shooting," Mr. Biden said Friday. "You saved lives. We join the people across the country praying for the families of those killed, whose hearts have been broken by yet another horrific gun violence."

The president said the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas is still on the minds of so many. It was the deadliest U.S. shooting in modern history. 

"Folks, we've got to get smart," Mr. Biden continued. "There have been over 600 mass shootings in America this year alone, plus daily acts of gun violence that don't even make the national news. This is not normal, and we can never let it become normal." 

The president said Americans "need Congress to step up," calling for national red flag laws, universal background checks and laws requiring guns to be safely secured. 

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the president before the speech that Mr. Biden would "personally share his condolences for those they have lost, and reaffirm our support for local law enforcement, UNLV, and the broader community in the wake of this tragedy."

Police said at a news conference Wednesday that the suspect was a long-time business professor who sought a teaching position at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas and was denied. 

Mr. Biden addressed the shooting in a statement Wednesday, calling for measures to address "the epidemic of gun violence we face." 

"Just hours ago, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas became the latest college campus to be terrorized by a horrific act of gun violence," Mr. Biden said in the statement, in which he also addressed shooting deaths in Austin and San Antonio, Texas.  

The president had been scheduled to speak in Las Vegas about $8.2 billion in new funding for 10 passenger rail projects across the country, including $3 billion toward a high-speed rail line from Las Vegas to San Bernardino County, in California.

— Bo Erickson contributed to this report 

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