Joe Biden Unveils Executive Actions On Guns In Wake Of Latest Mass Shootings: “It’s An International Embarrassment”
President Joe Biden announced a series of new executive action to restrict “ghost guns” and another to address stabilizing devices that make pistols act as rifles.
“Gun violence in this country is an epidemic and it’s an international embarrassment,” Biden said at a Rose Garden event, while noting a shooting last night in South Carolina in which five people were killed. The three major news networks carried the speech.
The actions include:
Ghost guns. The Justice Department will issue a proposed rule within 30 days designed to try to limit the distribution of kits that allow people to make their own guns, untraceable because of the lack of a serial number.
Stabilizers. The Justice Department will issue a proposed rule within 60 days to make clear that a stabilizing brace for a pistol effectively turns it into a short-barreled rifle. That is significant because it would then be subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act. The White House noted that the alleged shooter in last month’s tragedy in Boulder used a pistol that had one of the stabilizing devices.
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‘Red flag’ legislation. Attorney General Merrick Garland said that the DOJ would publish model “red flag” legislation for states to adopt. Those laws allow family members or police to petition courts for orders to temporarily block a person from obtaining a firearm if they present a danger.
The White House also unveiled measures to boost community violence intervention programs, with $5 billion proposed as part of Biden’s American Jobs Plan infrastructure package. The DOJ also will issue an annual report on firearms trafficking, and Biden nominated David Chipman to serve as the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
Biden also urged Congress to back legislation to expand background checks on gun purchases, and another to close other loopholes. He also reiterated his support for a ban on assault weapons.
But such legislation faces a tough time in the Senate, where it would have to clear a 60 vote threshold. Even in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting massacre in 2012, when Democrats held a wider majority, legislation to expand background checks stalled in the Senate.
“Enough prayers. Time for some action,” Biden said, referring to a common response among Republican lawmakers to past mass shootings.
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