Biden says gun violence in U.S. is an epidemic, unveils executive actions and calls for national red flag law

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President Joe Biden speaks about gun violence prevention within the Rose Backyard of the White Home in Washington, DC, on April 8, 2021.

Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Photographs

President Joe Biden on Thursday introduced a sequence of govt actions geared toward lowering gun violence, whereas urging Congress to move broader gun management laws.

The bundle of actions, Biden’s first try as president to deal with the fraught politics surrounding weapons in America, was unveiled within the wake of a latest spate of mass shootings throughout the nation, including deadly attacks in Georgia and Colorado.

“That is an epidemic, for God’s sake, and it has to cease,” Biden stated in a Rose Backyard speech.

The White Home’s strikes embody directing the Division of Justice to craft a rule addressing the unfold of untraceable “ghost weapons” and publish an instance of “purple flag” laws for states to comply with.

Crimson flag legal guidelines permit police or members of the family to petition a courtroom to bar a person from accessing firearms. Biden additionally known as for a federal purple flag legislation, saying such laws would stop suicides, defend girls from home violence, and cease mass shooters earlier than they perform an assault.

Biden introduced he would nominate former federal agent David Chipman to move the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Chipman, who boasts 25 years of expertise as an ATF particular agent, is a senior policy advisor for the gun-control advocacy group Giffords.

Here is what Biden’s actions will do, based on a White Home reality sheet:

  • Direct the Justice Division to suggest a rule inside 30 days to assist cease the proliferation of ghost weapons – firearms assembled from kits that always lack serial numbers and are tough to hint.
  • Direct the DOJ to craft a rule inside 60 days that clarifies the purpose at which a stabilizing arm brace successfully turns a pistol right into a short-barreled rifle, subjecting that firearm to extra laws.
  • Direct the DOJ to publish, inside 60 days, mannequin red-flag laws, which lets legislation enforcement officers or members of the family ask a courtroom to briefly bar somebody from accessing weapons beneath sure circumstances. The White Home says the mannequin laws will make it simpler for states to move their very own variations of that legislation.
  • Direct the DOJ to challenge a complete report on gun trafficking.

The administration additionally goals to focus funding in “group violence interventions,” that are strategies for reducing gun violence in cities with out incarcerating folks, the very fact sheet stated. Some metropolitan areas, corresponding to New York Metropolis, are grappling with a surge in taking pictures crimes and homicides amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden in his speech Thursday lamented that gun violence has change into, in his view, “a global embarrassment” for the U.S.

“Our flag was nonetheless flying at half employees for the victims of the horrific homicide of eight primarily Asian American folks in Georgia, when 10 extra lives have been taken at a mass homicide in Colorado,” Biden stated.

He spoke after an introduction from Vice President Kamala Harris, and his speech was adopted by remarks from Lawyer Basic Merrick Garland.

The president emphasised that the newly introduced actions have been merely preliminary steps, and heaped stress on federal lawmakers to move gun-reform proposals which have already been accepted by the Democrat-led Home.

“There’s rather more that Congress can do to assist that effort, and so they can do it proper now,” Biden stated.

“They’ve supplied loads of ideas and prayers, members of Congress. However they’ve handed not a single new federal legislation to scale back gun violence,” he stated.

“Sufficient prayers; time for some motion.”

However Biden additionally stated he is “prepared to work with anybody to get this achieved,” and expressed a want to take extra actions, together with reinstating a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

“We must also get rid of gun producers from the immunity they obtain from the Congress,” Biden stated. “If I get one factor on my checklist, Lord got here down and stated, ‘Joe, you get one in every of these,’ give me that one.”


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