- Biden announced a series of actions his administration is taking to address gun violence.
- The actions include drafting model “red flag” laws and tackling “ghost guns.”
- The announcement comes in the wake of recent mass shootings and homicide spikes in US cities.
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President Joe Biden announced Wednesday a series of actions his administration is taking to address gun violence in the US.
“The President is committed to taking action to reduce all forms of gun violence – community violence, mass shootings, domestic violence, and suicide by firearm,” the White House said in a statement.
The actions come on the heels of increased gun violence in many US cities and an uptick in mass shootings, including at a grocery store in Colorado where 10 people were killed and at Atlanta-area spas where eight people were killed.
“President Biden is reiterating his call for Congress to pass legislation to reduce gun violence,” the statement said. “But this Administration will not wait for Congress to act to take its own steps – fully within the Administration’s authority and the Second Amendment – to save lives.”
The actions, which do not have to go through Congress, include tackling “ghost guns,” drafting model “red flag” laws, and a firearms-trafficking report.
“Ghost guns” are firearms that are built at home by buying individual parts or kits that contain the parts. They are fully functioning guns that do not have a serial number or other identifying information, making them difficult to trace when recovered after a crime.
Biden is giving the Justice Department 30 days to draft a proposed rule that would “help stop the proliferation of these firearms.”
The Justice Department also has 60 days to draft model “red flag” legislation for states. Red flag laws allow family members or friends to alert authorities and seek a court order against someone obtaining a gun if they believe them to be a danger to themselves or others. Biden is encouraging Congress to pass a federal red flag law but wants model legislation for states working to pass their own laws.
Another action includes directing the Justice Department to issue a “new, comprehensive report on firearms trafficking and annual updates” that lawmakers can use when addressing gun trafficking. According to the statement, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms issued a firearms-trafficking report in 2000 that lawmakers still use today to draft policy.
The announcement also outlined multiple ways the administration plans to invest in “evidence-based community violence interventions,” including a $5 billion investment in Biden’s American Jobs Plan.
“Community violence interventions are proven strategies for reducing gun violence in urban communities through tools other than incarceration,” the statement said.
The Justice Department will also devise a rule within 60 days that determines when a pistol equipped with a stabilizing brace is more like a rifle, and thus falls under the National Firearms Act. The statement says the suspected shooter at the grocery store in Colorado last month “appears to have used a pistol with an arm brace, which can make a firearm more stable and accurate while still being concealable.”
The White House also named David Chipman as Biden’s nomination for Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Chipman worked in the bureau for decades and currently works as an adviser to a gun control advocacy group.
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