President Joe Biden has signed a new gun control executive order that will strengthen gun checks
SAN DIEGO – On Tuesday, President Joe Biden signed an executive order aimed at increasing background checks on gun purchases, encouraging safe gun storage and ensuring that US law enforcement agencies get the most out of guns. bipartisan gun control legislation was signed into law last summer.
The Democratic president was scheduled to address his latest efforts to combat gun violence in a Los Angeles suburb where a gunman stormed a dance hall and shot and killed 20 people, killing 11 others. He also met with families of victims and first responders from that day.
Biden’s pro-gun rhetoric has grown stronger — he regularly calls for a ban on assault weapons — pushing a more vocal platform for gun control than under the wheel. When the Obama administration was vice president. His ongoing discussions on gun control have emboldened him in the midterm elections, when they did not result in mass casualties, and colleagues say he is expected to continue advocating for significant change as he heads toward re-election in 2024.
Biden was greeted at the Los Angeles airport on Tuesday by Brandon Tsai, 26, who wrestled a semi-automatic handgun from the Monterey Park shooter. They shook hands; Biden invited Tsai to his State of the Union address in January, where he praised the young man’s bravery.
But the president limited his gun authority last summer to override bipartisan legislation passed by Congress last summer after the killing of 10 shoppers at a Buffalo, New York, grocery store last year. York and 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. .
Tuesday’s action does not change US government policy. Rather, it directs federal agencies to ensure compliance with existing laws and procedures—a typical feature of executive orders issued by presidents when they face the limits of their authority to act without the cooperation of Congress.
Biden acknowledged the opposition from Congress, but said: “Until then, my administration will continue to do everything within its existing authority to make our communities safer. “
The order directs the Cabinet to work on a plan to improve the structure of government to support communities affected by gun violence. The plan calls on Attorney General Merrick Garland to tighten the rules for federally licensed gun dealers so they know they must conduct a background check as part of their license.
Biden is also pushing for better reporting of ballistics data by federal law enforcement for a clearinghouse that would allow federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to match barrels to firearms. But local and state law enforcement agencies do not require ballistics data to be reported, and many reduce the effectiveness of the clearinghouse.
And the president is asking the Federal Trade Commission to issue a public report analyzing how gun makers sell to minors and use military imagery to sell to the public.
“President Biden’s mandate today is to ensure public safety,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “This is the latest example of President Biden’s leadership on gun safety, and we are proud to stand with him as he takes strong action to help close gun safety. Guns – This greatly expands the vetting of gun sales, keeps guns out of the hands of dangerous people, and saves lives.
A bill passed last year called the Safer Communities Act is seen by gun control advocates as a good start, but not enough. There have been 11 more mass shootings since the law was signed into law since 2006, according to a mass killing database maintained by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University. Those murders don’t include shootings that killed at least four people — and gun violence is on the rise across the country.
Pro-military groups said the order would do little to stem the rise in gun violence.
“The reality is that nothing in today’s Executive Order would have done anything to prevent the recent mass shootings in California, Michigan or elsewhere,” said Kathy Poynter Baney, chief government affairs officer. of the American Concealed Carry Association. “It’s time for the president and political leaders across the country to speak honestly to the American people and recognize that there is no legislative solution to the problem of gun violence once and for all.”
Biden is also asking his cabinet to make sure law enforcement agencies understand the benefits of the new law, especially when it comes to red-flag laws known as risk protection orders. extremes that aim to temporarily remove guns from potentially violent individuals and prevent them from harming themselves or others.
Last month, the Justice Department sent more than $200 million to states and the District of Columbia to help administer red flag laws and crisis response programs.
Long reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Lindsey Whitehurst contributed to this report.
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