Biden to Announce Sweeping Executive Order Aimed at Reducing Gun Violence
President Joe Biden will announce a sweeping executive order aimed at reducing gun violence on Tuesday during a visit to the site of a mass shooting in Monterey Park, California. The order will increase the number of background checks conducted prior to firearms sales, as well as hold the gun industry accountable and provide the public and policymakers with more information regarding federally licensed firearms dealers who are violating the law.
The order will direct the attorney general to clarify the statutory definition of who is “engaged in the business” of selling firearms, as well as develop and implement a plan to prevent former federally licensed firearms dealers—whose licenses have been revoked or surrendered—from continuing to engage in the business of dealing in firearms. It will also direct the attorney general to ensure that firearms sellers who are either flouting the law or may not realize they are required to run background checks are doing so ahead of any firearm purchases.
The president will also encourage the Federal Trade Commission to issue a public report analyzing how gun manufacturers market firearms to minors and other such marketing practices employed by the industry. Additionally, the executive order will direct the Department of Justice to work with the Secretary of Transportation to reduce the number of firearms that are lost or stolen during shipping, and encourages the Federal Trade Commission to compile a report examining how gun manufacturers market firearms, including to minors.
The order appeals to increase the use of “red flag” laws, which allow a judge to take away a firearm from someone based on the suspicion that they could use it to harm themselves or others. It also suggests improving public awareness and increasing the appropriate use of extreme risk protection red flag orders and safe firearm storage.
Biden is also expected to reiterate his call for Congress to ban so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazines during his address. During his State of the Union address last month, he asked Congress to require background checks on all gun sales, require safe storage of firearms, and ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
According to the White House, this action will bring the United States as close as possible to having universal background checks without the need for Congress to pass a law, as they are currently at an impasse on this matter. For months, gun safety advocates have been urging administration officials to take action.
As of the end of April 2023, the Gun Violence Archive has reported 109 mass shootings resulting in four or more people being injured or killed.
0. “Biden to Issue Executive Order to Strengthen Gun Background Checks” The Wall Street Journal, 14 Mar. 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-seeks-to-strengthen-gun-background-checks-34052337
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