President Biden Plans Executive Orders to Strengthen Gun Laws
On April 8th, 2021, President Joe Biden spoke at the White House about his plan to begin implementing certain executive actions in order to curb gun violence across the United States. This comes after a month of violent mass shootings in Georgia and Boulder, Colorado, that have led to multiple innocent people losing their lives. And many of these cases, the shooter was someone who had a troubled background but where no such laws existed to ensure that they were not able to get ahold of a weapon. These events have catapulted gun control issues to the main stage once again as President Joe Biden, along with Congressional democrats, push to get this done as soon as possible.
The Threat of 3D Gun Printing AKA "Ghost Guns"
Because passing gun control laws through congress would be an uphill battle that some say may take too long and thus more people may die, President Joe Biden has begun to take matters into his own hands through a series of executive orders aiming to diminish the availability of what are called "ghost guns." These are guns that are created through 3D printing or through a service where parts are created, and little by little, a gun is formed. Criminals use these "ghost guns" in order to avoid detection as they are practically untraceable.
Red Flag Laws Being Introduced as Additional Protections
Another law being looked at by President Joe Biden are red flag laws. This type of law provides judges the power to order the temporary confiscation of a person's weapon. The judge then decides if the person is a danger to themselves or the public. The red flag may be presented to the authorities by friends or family who are concerned about a family member or friend who they deem is too mentally unstable to be in possession of weapons. At the current moment, 19 states across the country have come forms of red flag laws in their books. President Biden has justified making these laws mandatory across the country by pointing towards the decrease in gun violence within states that have already implemented them into their law books.
Pushback from GOP & Gun Rights Activists
Although President Biden is planning to implement these laws through executive order, that does not mean that it's a done deal. The president is certain to face legal battles by gun rights advocates along with political attacks by congressional members of the GOP. Many members are accusing the president of using the recent shootings to justify such an intense push for gun control. However, President Biden, along with proponents of these laws, comment that these moves are not only because of the recent shootings but also because of an alarming increase in suicides and domestic violence.
Rose Garden Remarks & the Nomination of David Chipman
During his remarks in the Rose Garden with Vice President Kamala Harris and Attorney General Merrick Garland, President Biden stated that "Gun violence in this country is an epidemic and it is an international embarrassment." During this time, President Biden took the time to highlight the nomination of David Chipman to the position of head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, AKA the ATF. David Chipman is a well-known gun control advocate.
In addition, President Biden also called the Department of Justice (DOJ) to begin writing rules in relation to the executive actions being planned. As stated above, "ghost guns" are going to be one of those executive actions being planned to become law. President Biden wants the DOJ to treat these "ghost guns" the same as regular weapons. This means that these "ghost guns" will need to have a serial number, and people who own them must go through a background check.
Other issues that President Biden hopes to tackle with these executive orders include a plan to limit access to stabilizing braces. This is an accessory that turns a regular pistol into a much more lethal version of it, often resembling a rifle. President Biden points towards information that the Boulder, Colorado shooter allegedly used one of these braces on their weapon as a justification to include this into his executive orders. In terms of the "red flag" laws, President Biden also placed the responsibility on the DOJ to begin making a uniform set of rules that all states can follow.
Gridlock in Congress Pushing Executive Actions
Many of the opponents of President Biden have urged him to work with congressional Republicans on finding a better solution, but the fact is that President Biden is having trouble getting even some Democrats to support such measures. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has come out and said that she supports the President's actions and urges Senate Democrats and Republicans to pass two bills that aim to strengthen background checks.
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