President Biden on Monday said those who argue they need assault weapons to fight the government need a much bigger arsenal to stand a chance. 

Speaking at the National Action Network's annual Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast in Washington, Biden appeared to mock his conservative colleagues. 

"I love my right-wing friends who talk about the tree of liberty is water of the blood of patriots," he said. "If you need to work about taking on the federal government, you need some F-15s. You don't need an AR-15."

The quote Biden refers to dates back to Thomas Jefferson, who wrote in a letter, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants." Jefferson was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and America's third president. 


 Biden at NAN breakfast

President Joe Biden speaks at the National Action Network's Martin Luther King, Jr., Day breakfast, Monday.  (AP)

"I'm serious. Think about it," he added. "Think about the rationale for this. It's about money."

The president also said so-called assault weapons serve no "social redeeming value."

Biden has previously said gun-rights advocates need a much bigger arsenal of weapons to take on the federal government. In July 2021, he said: "You need to have weapons to take on the government, you need F-15s and maybe some nuclear weapons" during a White House speech to outline his plan to combat gun violence. 

In the same speech, he also falsely claimed there have always been limits on the Second Amendment

"The Second Amendment, from the day it was passed, limited the type of people who could own a gun and what type of weapon you could own. You couldn't buy a cannon."


"The point is that there has always been the ability to limit — rationally limit — the type of weapon that can be owned and who can own it," Biden added. 

These claims have been analyzed and found to be false when Biden has made them repeatedly over the past few years. Federal gun regulation was first passed in 1934.