“Although this law does not include everything I want, it does include measures that I have been calling for for a long time and that will save lives.“, he said at the White House before flying to Europe.
The legislation, backed by members of both the Democratic and Republican parties, was passed to the applause of Congress on Friday.
It introduces new gun restrictions and spends billions on mental health and school safety.
The parliamentary initiative was launched after the Uvalde massacre, which killed 21 people including 19 children in a Texas elementary school at the end of May, and that of Buffalo in New York State, during which 10 black people were killed. were killed in a supermarket in mid-May.
The text aims in particular to strengthen the verification of criminal and psychological backgrounds for arms buyers aged 18 to 21 and to establish better control of the illegal sale of arms, and the financing of programs dedicated to mental health.
But the proposed measures fall far short of what President Biden wanted, such as banning assault rifles.
After a series of deadly shootings, the text is still a first for decades.
Referring to the difficulty of passing legislation on such a sensitive subject in the United States in a divided Congress, President Biden called the new legislation “monumental”.
The message from the victims of the shootings, he said, was “‘do something (…), damn it, do something“.
“Well today we did something“, he asserted.
“I know there is still a lot of work to do and I will never give up“, he promised.