President Joe Biden, in his first gun management measures since taking workplace, introduced a half-dozen government actions Thursday aimed toward addressing a proliferation of gun violence throughout the nation that he known as an “epidemic and a global embarrassment.”
“The idea that we have so many people dying ever single day from gun violence in America is a blemish on our character as a nation,” Biden said during remarks at the White House.
Family members whose children were killed at the Sandy Hook, Connecticut, school massacre in 2012 and the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018 attended the hearing, and Biden thanked them for attending, saying he understood it would remind them of the awful days when they got the calls.
He assured them, “We’re absolutely determined to make change.”
Biden’s Thursday announcement delivers on a pledge the president made final month to take what he termed rapid “commonsense steps” to deal with gun violence, after a sequence of mass shootings drew renewed consideration to the difficulty. His announcement got here the identical day as yet one more, this one in South Carolina, the place 5 folks have been killed.
Biden emphasised the scope of the issue: Between the mass killings in Atlanta therapeutic massage companies and the Colorado grocery retailer capturing final month, there have been greater than 850 extra shootings that killed 250 and injured 500 within the US, he mentioned.
But Thursday’s announcement underscores the restrictions of Biden’s government energy to behave on weapons. His orders tighten rules on do-it-yourself weapons and supply extra assets for gun-violence prevention however fall far wanting the sweeping gun-control agenda he laid out on the marketing campaign path.
Indeed, Biden once more urged Congress to behave, calling on the Senate to take up House-passed measures closing background examine loopholes. He additionally mentioned Congress ought to cross the Violence Against Women Act, eradicate authorized exemptions for gun producers and ban assault weapons and excessive capability magazines. Biden mentioned
“This will not be a partisan difficulty among the many American folks,” Biden insisted.
While Biden asserted that he’s “willing to work with anyone to get it done,” gun control measures face slim prospects in an evenly divided Senate, where Republicans remain near-unified against most proposals.
Biden was joined at the event by Vice President Kamala Harris and Attorney General Merrick Garland. Garland said he was “under no illusions about how hard it is to solve the problem of gun violence” and emphasized a need for a “collective effort to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and save lives.”
The Justice Department cannot solve the problem by itself, he said, but “there’s work for the division to do, and we intend to do it.”
Biden is tightening rules of consumers of “ghost guns” — do-it-yourself firearms that often are assembled from components and milled with a metal-cutting machine and infrequently lack serial numbers used to hint them. It’s authorized to construct a gun in a house or a workshop and there’s no federal requirement for a background examine.
The Justice Department will difficulty a proposed rule requiring such gun kits be handled as firearms below the Gun Control Act, which might require that the components be made with serial numbers and that consumers obtain background checks.
Months earlier than Biden was elected, the federal authorities had already been engaged on a proposed rule that may change the definition of a firearm to incorporate decrease receivers, the important piece of a semiautomatic rifle, in an effort to fight the proliferation of ghost weapons and to stave off shedding courtroom battles over the difficulty.
The course of had been within the works within the waning months of the Trump administration, in keeping with 4 folks acquainted with the matter. Justice Department leaders and officers on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had been engaged on language for a proposed rule since at the very least the summer season of 2020, the folks mentioned.
A second proposed rule, anticipated inside 60 days, will tighten rules on pistol-stabilizing braces, just like the one utilized by the Boulder, Colorado, shooter in a rampage final month that left 10 lifeless. The rule will designate pistols used with stabilizing braces as short-barreled rifles, which require a federal license to personal and are topic to a extra thorough software course of and a $200 tax.
The division is also publishing mannequin laws inside 60 days that’s supposed to make it simpler for states to undertake their very own “red flag” legal guidelines. Such legal guidelines enable for people to petition a courtroom to permit the police to confiscate weapons from an individual deemed to be a hazard to themselves or others.
The division additionally will start to supply extra knowledge on firearms trafficking, beginning with a brand new complete report on the difficulty. The administration says that hasn’t been achieved in additional than twenty years.
The Biden administration will even make investments in group violence intervention packages, that are aimed toward decreasing gun violence in city communities, throughout 5 federal companies.
The president argued that gun violence was additionally a large financial pressure, citing the prices from hospital visits, authorized charges, and the price of maintaining folks in jail and offering remedy to victims and others. A majority of firearm deaths are from suicides.
Biden can be nominating David Chipman, a former federal agent and adviser on the gun management group Giffords, to be director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The ATF is at the moment run by an performing director, Regina Lombardo. Gun-control advocates have emphasised the importance of this place in imposing gun legal guidelines, and Chipman is for certain to win reward from this group. During his time as a senior coverage adviser with Giffords, he spent appreciable effort pushing for better regulation and enforcement on ghost weapons, modifications to the background examine system and measures to cut back the trafficking of unlawful firearms.
Chipman spent 25 years as an agent on the ATF, the place he labored on stopping a trafficking ring that despatched unlawful firearms from Virginia to New York, and served on the ATF’s SWAT staff. Chipman is a gun proprietor.
He is an explosives knowledgeable and was among the many staff concerned in investigating the Oklahoma City bombing and the primary World Trade Center bombing. He additionally was concerned in investigating a sequence of church bombings in Alabama within the 1990s. He retired from the ATF in 2012.
During his marketing campaign, Biden promised to prioritize new gun management measures as president, together with enacting common background examine laws, banning on-line gross sales of firearms and the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. But gun-control advocates have mentioned that whereas they have been heartened by indicators from the White House that they took the difficulty significantly, they have been disillusioned by the dearth of early motion.
With the announcement of the brand new measures, advocates did laud Biden’s first strikes.
“Each of these executive actions will start to address the epidemic of gun violence that has raged throughout the pandemic, and begin to make good on President Biden’s promise to be the strongest gun safety president in history,” mentioned John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety.
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