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President Joe Biden on Thursday announced his first executive actions amid renewed pressure to address gun violence in the US following a slew of mass shootings.
“We’re taking steps to confront not just the gun crisis, but what is actually a public health crisis,” he said on Thursday about the six executive actions that the White House unveiled Wednesday night. “Gun violence in this country is an epidemic and it’s an international embarrassment.”
The announcement comes as gun violence has once again been thrust into the national spotlight after two mass shootings in Georgia and Colorado killed a total of 18 people. Nearly 40,000 people in the United States die from firearm injuries annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Enough prayers,” Biden said. “Time for some action.”
Biden aims to curb the spread of “ghost guns” — firearms without serial numbers that can be self-assembled at home — by calling on the Justice Department to issue a rule within 30 days that would “stop the proliferation of these firearms,” according to a White House statement.
“Anyone, from a criminal to a terrorist, can buy this kit, in as little as 30 minutes put together a weapon,” Biden said Thursday. “I want to see these kits treated as firearms.”
The Justice Department will also establish a rule to designate pistols with a stabilizing brace as a “short-barreled rifle,” which are subject to stricter regulations under the National Firearms Act. The alleged suspect in the Colorado shooting used a pistol with an armbrace that resembled a rifle, according to a law enforcement official.
Today, I’m joining Vice President Harris and Attorney General Garland to announce new actions to reduce gun violence. Tune in. https://t.co/p6dgJRYKwe
— President Biden (@POTUS) April 8, 2021
Biden is also giving the Justice Department 60 days to draft model legislation for states to implement “red flag” laws, which would allow family members and friends to petition a court and bar someone from accessing a gun should they be considered a danger to themselves or others.
“We know red flag laws can stop mass shooters before they can act out their violent plans,” Biden said. “It’s time to put these law on the books and protect even more people.”
Biden was accompanied on Thursday by Vice President Kamala Harris and Attorney General Merrick Garland and announced his nominee, David Chipman, to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which hasn’t had a permanent director since 2015. Chipman, a gun-safety advocate, worked at the agency for 25 years and previously served as a senior policy advisor to former Rep. Gabby Giffords of Arizona, a mass shooting survivor and co-founder of a gun-control advocacy group.
The Biden administration additionally plans to invest in community-based intervention strategies to reduce gun violence, as well as improve reporting on gun trafficking by releasing an annual report with new data.
Biden emphasized that Thursday’s executive actions were just a first step, and called on Congress to pass comprehensive reforms to better address gun violence …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Politics
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