New push for U.S. assault weapons ban after shootings

STORY: California Governor Gavin Newsom made his frustrations clear on Tuesday following two mass shootings in the state in less than a week, that left a total of 18 people dead.

“Only in America do we see this kind of carnage, this kind of chaos... Thirty-nine now of these mass shootings and we're only in day 24 of the new year.”

Newsom was citing nationwide data from the non-profit Gun Violence Archive, as he spoke to reporters outside a victims' resource center in Half Moon Bay, where the second shooting took place on Monday.

The Democratic governor hit out at officials at all levels who have blocked legislative efforts to rein in gun violence.

“Where's the Republican Party been on gun safety reform? They blocked it every step of the way... Shame on these judges that are rolling back the laws that we've established in the state of California. Shame on them. You deserve better. We deserve better. And so I'm here processing like all of us, the absurdity, the theater - look around - of absurdity. Only in America.”

In a meeting with Democratic congressional leaders on Tuesday, U.S. President Joe Biden made a fresh push for lawmakers to ban military-style semi-automatic weapons in the country.

“Yesterday my buddy Dianne Feinstein reintroduced her Senate assaults weapons ban. I’m asking you all to send that to my desk as quickly as you can.”

Democrats have been trying for years to renew a federal ban on high-capacity firearms, which was first imposed in 1994 and expired in 2004.

Biden vowed late last year to see the ban through, though it ended up stalling in the Senate after passing the House of Representatives.

Gun control has long been divisive in the U.S., but some in communities shaken by deadly mass shootings are pleading for things to be different.

“It is insane that we've kind of normalized this as part of our society. So, there does need to be some change."