February 14 marks the three year anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Parkland, Fla. that left 17 people dead.
“In seconds, the lives of dozens of families, and the life of an American community, were changed forever,” Biden said in a statement released Sunday.
He used the occasion to call on Congress to pass commonsense gun laws including requiring background checks on all gun sales and banning assault weapons.
“This Administration will not wait for the next mass shooting to heed that call” from Parkland activists and other Americans, he said. “We owe it to all those we’ve lost and to all those left behind to grieve to make a change. The time to act is now.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has ordered that all flags be lowered to half staff on Sunday from sunrise to sunset across the state to honor those killed when Nikolas Cruz opened fire on campus on Valentine’s Day in 2018.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), meanwhile, said that congressional leaders would work with the White House to pass background check legislation previously stalled in Congress during the Trump administration, according to The Hill.
“On this solemn remembrance, Democrats join the American people to renew our commitment to our unfinished work to ensure that no family or community is forced to endure the pain of gun violence. We will not rest until all Americans, in schools, in the workplace, in places of worship and throughout our communities are safe, once and for all,” Pelosi said.