San Diego — President Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order on Tuesday aimed at increasing the number of background checks for gun purchases, promoting better and safer gun storage, and ensuring U.S. law enforcement agencies get the most out of a recently enacted bipartisan gun control law. . summer.
A senior White House official, who discussed the matter before signing on condition of anonymity, said the Democratic president plans to reveal his latest efforts to reduce gun violence in a speech from Monterey Park, California. In January, a gunman stormed a community dance hall near Los Angeles and shot 20 people, killing 11, after celebrating the Lunar New Year.
Biden’s rhetoric on guns has grown stronger — he routinely calls for bans on so-called assault weapons in his speeches — and Democrats did not push such an anti-gun vocal platform even during the Obama administration, when Biden was vice president. But Biden has been emboldened by the midterms after his regular gun control rhetoric didn’t take a toll, and he’s expected to continue to push for strong changes as he moves toward 2024, his aides say.
Biden invited Brandon Tsai, 26, who wrestled the semi-automatic pistol away from the gunman in Monterey Park, to his State of the Union address and praised the young man’s heroism.
“He saved lives,” Biden said in his address to Congress. “It’s time we do the same, too.” Permanently ban assault weapons.
But his authority is limited to beyond bipartisan legislation passed by Congress last summer, the most comprehensive law on gun violence in decades. This followed the killing of 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
White House press secretary Karen Jean-Pierre said, “The gun violence has claimed many lives.” “But he thinks we need to do more. You’ll hear him call on Congress to take action and not stop…that we need to keep going.”
The senior White House official who reviewed the matter said Biden would task his cabinet with working on a plan to improve government structure to support communities experiencing gun violence. The plan would call for Attorney General Merrick Garland to uphold rules for federally licensed gun dealers so they know they are required to undergo background checks as part of licensing.
Biden also mandates better reporting of ballistics data from federal law enforcement to a clearinghouse that allows federal, state and local law enforcement to match shell casings to guns. But local and state law enforcement agencies are not required to report ballistics data, and many do not, making the clearinghouse less effective.
And the president will ask the FTC to release a public report analyzing how gun manufacturers market to minors and use military imagery to market to the general public.
Gun control advocates view the bill passed last year, known as the Safer Communities Act, as a good start but not going far enough. After the law was signed, 11 more mass shootings occurred, according to a database of mass killings since 2006 maintained by the Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University. These killings do not include shootings in which fewer than four people died – and gun violence is on the rise across the country.
“The executive order President Biden issued today is a house measure for the sake of public safety,” said John Fineblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “This is the latest example of President Biden’s leadership on gun safety, and we are proud to stand with him as he takes cracking action to help close the gun seller loophole — which will dramatically expand background checks on gun sales, get guns out of the hands of dangerous people and save lives.” “.
Biden will also direct his cabinet to make sure law enforcement agencies understand the benefits of the new law, particularly with regard to red flag laws, also known as high risk protection orders, which are intended to temporarily remove guns from people who may have violent behavior and prevent them from harming themselves or others.
Last month, the Justice Department sent more than $200 million to help states and the District of Columbia administer red flag laws and other crisis intervention programs.