Calls to implement stricter measures to end gun violence in the United States emerged again after one of the most recent shootings that took place in Boulder, Colorado, in late March. The incident saw 10 killed and is one of the deadliest in the state’s history.
The Biden administration announced on Wednesday six “initial actions to address the gun violence”, according to an official White House statement.
“Cities across the country are in the midst of a historic spike in homicides, violence that disproportionately impacts Black and brown Americans”, the statement reads. “The President is committed to taking action to reduce all forms of gun violence – community violence, mass shootings, domestic violence, and suicide by firearm.”
Reiterating the president’s call for Congress to “pass legislation to reduce gun violence”, the administration rolled out “its own steps” to “save lives”.
- Countering “ghost guns”. The Justice Department is set to issue a proposed rule to help stop the proliferation of “ghost guns” within 30 days.
- Addressing stabilizing braces. Withing 60 days, the Justice Department will issue a proposed rule “to make clear when a device marketed as a stabilizing brace effectively turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act.”
- “Red flag” legislation. The “red flag” laws allow family members or law enforcement to ask for a court order that could temporarily prohibit “people in crisis” from accessing firearms in case they present a danger to themselves or others.
- “Evidence-based community violence interventions”. According to the statement, “community violence interventions are proven strategies for reducing gun violence in urban communities through tools other than incarceration”.
- Annual report on firearms trafficking. The Justice Department will release “a new, comprehensive report on firearms trafficking and annual updates necessary to give policymakers the information they need to help address firearms trafficking today.”
- New head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. The president will nominate David Chipman for the position of the Director of the agency.
According to the White House, the latest shooting incidents in the United States – ones in Boulder and Atlanta that took 10 and 8 lives respectively – “underscored the relentlessness” of what the Biden administration described as the gun violence public health epidemic.
Last week, Biden received a letter from dozens of congressional lawmakers requesting the president to place “concealable assault-style firearms that fire rifle rounds” under the National Firearms Act, a move which would make the sale and transfer of such weapons more difficult.
Biden has pledged to address gun violence during his presidential campaign, vowing to “get weapons of war off our streets”, “hold gun manufacturers accountable” and “reduce stockpiling of weapons”.
However, the issue of gun control remains controversial in the United States, with those advocating for gun rights referring to the Second Amendment of the US Constitution that states that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
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