May 31, 2022



President Joe Biden said a 9mm bullet “blows the lung out of the body” while discussing options on gun legislation on Monday, prompting some to suggest he was calling for handguns to be banned.

Biden made the remarks while speaking to reporters outside the White House, a day after he and first lady Jill Biden visited Uvalde, Texas, and comforted families grieving the 19 children and two teachers who were killed in a mass shooting at an elementary school last week.

The president has urged Congress to pass broader gun measures, such as new ban on assault weapons or universal background checks on gun purchases.

On Monday, Biden said the assault weapons ban in the 1990s had “significantly cut down mass murders.”

And he recalled a visit to a New York trauma hospital when he was a Senator conducting hearings on what “rational gun laws” should be.

“When I first started doing hearings on the issue of what rational gun laws should be, it was during a period when I was a Senator and the death rate was going up,” Biden said.

“And I sat with a trauma doctor, and I asked him—I said, ‘What’s the difference?’… I said, ‘Why are they dying?’ And they showed me x-rays. He said, ‘A .22-caliber bullet will lodge in the lung, and we can probably get it out, may be able to get it, and save the life. A 9mm bullet blows the lung out of the body.’

“So the idea of these high-caliber weapons is of—there’s simply no rational basis for it in terms of thinking about self-protection, hunting… and remember, the Constitution, the Second Amendment was never absolute. You couldn’t buy a cannon when the Second Amendment was passed. You couldn’t go out and purchase a lot of weapons.”

Biden’s remarks prompted many to take to Twitter to point out that 9mm rounds are typically used in handguns, not high-powered rifle. Some ridiculed the president for the damage he said 9mm ammunition could do.

“‘A 9MM bullet blows the lung out of the body’ has to be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. Joe Biden is an imbecile. Why do the people who know the least about guns want to yap their gums the most about guns?” tweeted congressional candidate Robby Starbuck.

Some suggested that the president was calling for a ban on handguns.

“We’re banning handguns now?” tweeted Mark Hemingway, a senior writer with RealClearInvestigations.

Republican strategist Matt Whitlock wrote: “I had wondered if Biden was mistaking 9mm for AR rounds because there’s been so much discussion about the damage AR bullets have done.

“But he was intentionally targeting 9mm, the most popular home defense caliber in America.”

Others noted it wasn’t the first time Biden had spoken about 9mm bullets, pointing to remarks he made at a fundraiser in 2019.

“Why should we allow people to have military-style weapons including pistols with 9mm bullets and can hold 10 or more rounds?” Biden said, according to a report in The Seattle Times.

The White House has been contacted for comment.