Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas couldn’t define what assault weapons are after he called to ban the weapons when pressed by Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy Wednesday.
Kennedy asked Mayorkas for his definition of an assault weapon, which he couldn’t define, just one day after he called to ban them in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The exchange happened in the wake of a school shooting in which three students and three adults were killed Monday at a Christian elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee, renewing the debate to ban certain guns.
“I am not an expert with respect to the definition of the assault bans,” Mayorkas said.
“I defer to the experts, I defer to, for example, the definition of an assault weapon that was codified in the prior iteration of the legislation that was passed and that was in operation when I served as an assistant United States attorney and the United States Attorney in the Central District of California,” Mayorkas added.
In the aftermath of Monday’s shooting the Biden administration called for the banning assault weapons.
“So you would support the prior definition?,” Kennedy asked.
Despite Kennedy’s persistence in questioning, Mayorkas struggled to define what assault weapons are.
“Senator, I must defer to the experts with respect to the definition, but I will tell you for example, military style weapons are of tremendous concern, we are seeing too much devastation,” Mayorkas responded.
“But I mean you, you personally think that we should ban assault weapons and I know you to be an intelligent man and a thinking person. I know you’ve thought about it,” Kennedy said.
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