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Biden announces limited gun restrictions as pressure rises following mass shootings

Facing pressure to act after a recent spate of high-profile mass shootings, President Joe Biden unveiled a package of moves Thursday that seek to address a scourge of gun violence he deemed a “blemish on the nation.”

“Gun violence in this country is an epidemic,” Biden said in the Rose Garden to an audience of lawmakers and Americans touched by gun violence. “And it’s an international embarrassment.”

The executive actions — which Biden repeatedly argued did nothing to impinge on the Second Amendment right to bear arms — include efforts to restrict weapons known as “ghost guns” that can be built using parts and instructions purchased online.

The moves are limited in scope and fall short of the steps Biden has vowed to pressure Congress to take. Still, they fulfilled his pledge last month to take “common-sense” steps on his own, and one move — more heavily regulating arm braces used to make firing a pistol more accurate — directly relates to the March shooting in Boulder, Colorado, where such a device was used.

He also announced that he is nominating gun control advocate David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which hasn’t had a permanent director in place since 2015.

Biden emphasized the announcements only amount to the first steps toward addressing gun violence, with later action — like a ban on assault weapons or rules requiring universal background checks — requiring Congress. Biden, who is in the midst of advancing a massive infrastructure plan, has previously voiced uncertainty on the likelihood of passing major new gun laws.

On Thursday, he acknowledged the persistent struggle in convincing Washington to act on a seemingly intractable issue.

“We’ve got a long way to go,” he said, “it seems like we’ve always got a long way to go.”

But he insisted lawmakers must break the pattern.

“They’ve offered plenty of thoughts and prayers, members of Congress, but they have passed not a single new federal law to reduce gun violence,” he said. “Enough prayers, time for some action.”

West Wing moved after recent shootings

As the nation’s posture on guns has evolved, Biden has been front-and-center at most every stop along the way for more than three decades, from the triumph of a 10-year ban on assault weapons in 1994 to the disappointment of a failed push for universal background checks in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.

Recent shootings in Georgia and Colorado had raised the question inside the West Wing over how much political capital Biden should expend on the matter, which has so often ended in frustration. Like former President Barack Obama, Biden has determined that executive actions are a more viable vehicle for progress given a narrowly divided Congress and a slate of other pressing priorities.

Biden said stripping gun manufacturers of liability protection would be at the top of his list of legislative priorities on gun control.

“The only industry in America, a billion dollar industry, that can’t be sued,” he said. “Imagine how different it would be if that same exemption had been available to tobacco companies?”

The item was one in a list of actions Biden said Congress must take to combat gun violence. But he said it could potentially have an outsized effect.

“If I get one thing on my list, the Lord came down and said, ‘Joe you get one of these, give me that one,’ ” he said. “I’ll tell you what, there would be a come to the Lord moment these folks would have real quickly.”

Biden made the announcements Thursday from the Rose Garden alongside his attorney general, Merrick Garland, whose Justice Department will be responsible for drafting the proposed rules.

“We stand here today not at a moment of tragedy, but in the midst of an enduring tragedy,” Garland said, detailing some of the steps he was tasked with undertaking, including efforts to measure gun trafficking “in a data-driven way” with an updated study from the ATF that will evaluate weapons from 3D printers and other new technology.

Rules target ghost guns and braces

Ghost guns are handmade or self-assembled firearms that don’t have serial numbers. Some can be fabricated in as little as 30 minutes using kits and parts purchased online. Biden directed the Justice Department to issue a proposed rule to “stop the proliferation” of those weapons, though a senior administration official previewing the step declined to elaborate on how specifically the rule — due in 30 days — might work.

Another proposed rule would target stabilizing braces for pistols, which aid in the weapons’ accuracy and manage recoil. Under the new rule, the devices — which the senior administration official contended turn pistols into short barreled rifles — would be covered by regulations in the National Firearms Act, including requiring registration. Last month’s mass shooter in Boulder, Colorado, used a pistol modified with an arm brace, according to a law enforcement source.

The President also nominated Chipman to the ATF, a position that often becomes embroiled in the fraught politics of gun control. Chipman is a former ATF agent who serves as senior policy adviser at Giffords, the organization led by former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who became a gun control advocate after being shot in 2011.

Biden also announced new investments in intervention programs in violence-prone communities; a directive to the Justice Department to publish model “red flag” laws for states that allow the temporary removal of guns from people deemed at high risk of harming themselves or others; and a comprehensive report on firearms trafficking.

Taken together, the actions amount to the first real steps by Biden’s administration to combat gun violence. Inside the White House, efforts to devise executive actions have been led by White House Domestic Policy Council Director Susan Rice and Office of Public Engagement Director Cedric Richmond, administration officials and gun safety advocacy groups told CNN.

That included meeting with some of those groups and fielding ideas for steps Biden could take on his own. Some advocates had been clamoring for steps earlier in the administration, pointing to Biden’s pledge to prioritize gun control during his campaign.

This story has been updated with details from the Rose Garden announcement.

National Politics / News

CNN Newsource

Comments

23 Comments

  1. So many mass shooting in Biden the Magnificent’s first 100 days. What is it about such a virile inspiring and historic president that has so many people shooting so many other people?

  2. And this is why the uniparty in DC had to steal the election. Look how many executive orders are being whipped out. Libbies know this bill does not keep any legal gun owner safe, it is about control. They can’t control us if we still have guns. This is just the beginning.

    Meanwhile the corrupt corporate media spouts their propaganda that this gun control is necessary and people believe them. Just like racism is a problem in the US. All created to divide us and ultimately become our rulers and slowly create more laws that keeps them in power.

  3. Please explain to me how a ghost gun does more harm than any other gun.
    Bottom line, bad people are going to do bad things whether they have guns or not. Using items like semi’s, or bombs.

  4. Biden wants to disarm law-abiding American citizens with unconstitutional gun control measures, but his son Hunter is allowed to break the law and lie (not on drugs) on federal background check forms to get a gun with no consequences???

  5. Biden is an idiot! His supporters/voters to fraud election are bigger idiots too. They chose to hand over our country to China!

    Biden: “No amendment to the Constitution is absolute”

    That means your Oath of Office isn’t absolute either.-Cari Kelemen

  6. Ah, “common sense” laws will be the new buzz phrase for Creepy China Joe. Right off the get-go, he is making a false statement with the “The only industry in America, a billion-dollar industry, that can’t be sued,” he said. “Imagine how different it would be if that same exemption had been available to tobacco companies?” So once the gun manufacturers can be sued for damages a weapon they make is used for, then that opens up all manufacturers to the same standards as well. Let us say you are involved in a wreck, not of your own fault, then you (or your estate) will be able to sue the manufacturing company that built the other vehicle? If you are stabbed in an assault, can you sue the manufacture of the knife? IF he was after common-sense laws, why not impose a national speed limit of 65 mph and require ALL vehicles to have a chip or a governor to restrict them to no higher than 65?

  7. So according to the president gun manufacturers can’t be sued. That’s a lie. They can absolutely be sued for faulty products. Oh they want to sue if someone uses a gun for violence. Well can ford be sued if someone drives a pickup through a crowd of people and kills someone?

  8. Disarm the American people and throw the border wide open. This is what an “America last” administration looks like. A senile corrupt dictator is in charge… for now.

  9. 80% LOWERS THIS IS WHAT A GHOST GUN IS. ITS A RECEIVERS THAT AS BEEN MILLED 80% YOU HAVE TO MILL THE OTHER 20% YOURSELF BY DOING SO THE GUN HAS NO SERIAL NUMBERS

  10. More ridiculous nonsense from the left that will have absolutely no impact on
    the number of shootings that happen. They keep trying to peddle the same worthless
    garbage over and over because they don’t have any ideas that will actually impact
    the number of shootings that take place. Their main priority is that they want their
    loyal liberal anti-gun subjects to think that they are actually doing something productive
    because they continually make promises that they can’t keep.
    The Dems ultimate goal is to remove all private ownership of firearms but even they
    know that the only way they can accomplish this is to do it in small incremental steps.
    Anyone that believes their lies that they aren’t trying to eliminate the private ownership
    of firearms is either ignorant or in denial…

    1. Exactly. It’s like when certain people asked other people to first “compromise” by relocating to another area. Then another “compromise” move into some special camps. Then go a little farther into some special buildings. And finally move along into the special showers built just for them.

    1. Who said anything about a “need”? It’s a right granted by the constitution. You know….. just like your right to get on this board and sound like an absolute 🤡

    2. Does your car have seat belts? Do you own a fire extinguisher? Does your home have door locks?

      What are YOU afraid of you sissy?!!

  11. Biden tells his base of half-wits that “walls and fences” are not what ‘Merika’s about”… then goes out and builds a fence around the WH- and continues work on President Trump’s wall ! Then Uncle Joe bemoans gun ownership- strikes out to start the process of taking your guns away… yet arms his secret service to the hilt with all the latest in gunpowder money can buy !! OH No Joe ran on a campaign of lies (“I’m gonna get that Wuhan Bat fer ya”) and ugly truths… “I’m gonna raise your taxes- restart global wars- and put an end to US energy independence… and you ding-dongs supported that ? Along with crack- heroin- and meth ??? ‘Merika is as stoopid as Obama said it was !

  12. I find it interesting how fast this story left the front page. Is it because the comments are mostly against this Obiden idea? but hey, No worries, China Joe Obiden will fix everything!!!!

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