WASHINGTON —President Barack Obama is challenging Congress to reinstate the assault weapons ban and make it harder for terrorist to kill Americans.
Obama spoke Tuesday after meeting with his National Security Council. Democrat Hillary Clinton has called for a similar ban, while Republican Donald Trump is opposing reinstatement of the ban.
The shooter in the Orlando attack, Omar Mateen, used a military-style assault weapon to blast away at an Orlando nightclub, killing 49 people.
The ban on semi-automatic assault weapons that expired in 2004. The large majority of Republicans in Congress and some pro-gun Democrats have opposed reinstatement of the ban.
During his press conference Tuesday afternoon, the president also said anti-Muslim rhetoric from presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is “not the America we want.”
Obama argued that treating Muslim-Americans differently won’t make the U.S. safer. He said it will make the country less safe by fueling the notion among followers of the Islamic State group that the West hates Muslims.
This comes a day after presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump doubled down on his proposal to temporarily ban foreign Muslims from entering the U.S.
Obama said the U.S. was founded on freedom of religion and that there are no religious tests in America.
He said such talk makes Muslim-Americans feel like their government is betraying them.