President Joe Biden announced on Thursday that he is issuing multiple executive orders to combat what he called a “public health crisis” and “international embarrassment” of gun violence in the United States.
Among Biden’s executive actions are directives for the Department of Justice to “stop the proliferation of ‘ghost gun’” building kits within 30 days by subjecting those who purchase them to regular firearm procedures such as background checks and serial numbers on the guns. Biden also gave the Justice Department 60 days to reclassifying pistols with stabilizing braces as short-barreled rifles and cited the recent shooting in Boulder, Colorado, as one example of how the braces could be abused to harm people. He also asked the department to publish an “annual report on firearms trafficking and annual updates necessary to give policymakers the information they need to help address firearms trafficking today.”
Other actions Biden suggested include publicizing model “red flag” legislation for states and Congress to evaluate implementing to “allow family members or law enforcement to petition for a court order temporarily barring people in crisis from accessing firearms if they present a danger to themselves or others.” Similarly, Biden recommended multiple federal agencies invest and engage in “evidence-based community violence interventions” around the nation funded by the president’s proposed “American Jobs Plan.”
During his announcement of the new gun regulations, Biden claimed he does not intend to infringe on anyone’s Second Amendment rights but warned that “no amendment to the Constitution is absolute.”
“You can’t yell ‘fire’ in a crowded movie theater and call it freedom of speech,” he said.
President Biden unveils several new executive actions, his first steps on gun control.
First, he says he’ll reign in “ghost guns,” or kits to build firearms, and have them “treated as firearms under the Gun Control Act.” pic.twitter.com/nbmmKDzG86
— The Recount (@therecount) April 8, 2021
In addition to making false claims that buying a firearm at a gun show does not require a background check, Biden also called for a ban on high-capacity magazines and said that if he could pick one item to implement from his reform list, it would be allowing gun manufacturers to be sued.
“The idea that we have so many people dying every single day from gun violence in America is a blemish on our character as a nation,” Biden said.
Vice President Kamala Harris also weighed in, claiming these proposed actions are “reasonable” and need to be passed by Congress.
“I have fought my entire career to end this violence and to pass reasonable gun safety laws. Time and again, as progress has stalled, we have all asked — what are we waiting for? Because we aren’t waiting for a tragedy. I know that,” Harris said.
Biden also announced his intent to name David Chipman, an anti-gun group adviser, to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), where he used to work as a special agent. Shortly before his nomination, Chipman locked his Twitter account, most likely in an effort to prevent journalists and others from discovering any politically charged tweets that sank previous Biden nominees.