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WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, President Joe Biden unveiled six executive orders on gun control that he insisted would not infringe upon the Second Amendment, but instead would address the “public health crisis” that is gun violence in the United States, according to reports.
Calling gun violence in America an “epidemic and an international embarrassment” during a speech Thursday, Biden introduced what he referred to as “common-sense steps” to address the problem after a recent series of mass shootings cast the spotlight on the topic of gun control in the United States yet again.
However, without enough Democrats in the Senate to pass truly sweeping legislation on gun control – and Republicans united against it – Biden’s ability to make significant change is severely curtailed by the limited power that executive orders afford him. The mandates the President announced mainly cover increasing regulations on homemade guns and provide additional resources for the prevention of gun violence, which is a far cry from the more comprehensive plans he laid out while campaigning for office.
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Regulations of buyers of homemade firearms known as “ghost guns” – usually untraceable due to a lack of serial numbers – have been tightened. In addition, regulations on pistol-stabilizing braces have also been updated; weapons that utilize them will now be classified as “short-barreled rifles” and will require a federal license to own.
“Red flag” laws – which allow police to confiscate weapons from someone who is a danger to themselves or others – will now be easier for states to create and adopt, and more comprehensive data will be provided on firearms trafficking by the Justice Department going forward. In addition, investments in programs aimed at reducing gun violence in urban communities will be made by the Biden Administration.
A full, detailed list of Biden’s executive orders on gun control can be found here.
“As we’ve seen over and over again, these measures do nothing to reduce gun violence but they do make people more vulnerable to criminals. People have a right to defend themselves, and the government should have no role in telling people how to do it. President Biden’s EO will only embolden criminals and endanger law-abiding American lives.”Julie Gunlock, director of the Center for Progress and Innovation at Independent Women’s Forum (IWF)
Biden has also nominated former federal agent David Chipman – a former federal agent described as a “fierce” advocate for gun control – as the permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the ATF has been without a permanent director for several years.
It is said that Biden’s actions Thursday constitute the “initial steps” of his efforts, with more likely coming in the near future.