The US president says too many places in America have become killing fields.
President Joe Biden has said the US should ban assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines to tackle the “carnage” of gun violence.
In a primetime speech to the nation from the White House, Mr Biden said too many everyday places in America had become killing fields.
He said if Congress cannot outlaw such weapons, it should seek to raise the age to purchase them from 18 to 21.
Mr Biden spoke after a string of mass shootings in the country.
In remarks from the White House, he also called for expansions of federal background checks and nationwide red flag laws, which allow courts to order weapons to be removed from anyone deemed to be a danger to others or themselves.
“This is not about taking away anyone’s guns,” said the Democratic president.
“This isn’t about taking away anyone’s rights,” he added. “It’s about protecting children.”
He continued: “Why in God’s name should an ordinary citizen be able to purchase an assault weapon that holds 30-round magazines, that let mass shooters fire hundreds of bullets in a matter of minutes?”
Mr Biden’s remarks come in the wake of mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, Uvalde, Texas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Even as he prepared to speak on Thursday, multiple people were shot in an attack at a cemetery in Racine, Wisconsin.