President Joe Biden on April 8 announced several new gun control measures after two mass shootings last month, claiming that shootings are a “public health crisis.”
“Gun violence in this country is an epidemic, and it’s an international embarrassment,” he said in a speech at the White House, where he was joined by Vice President Kamala Harris and Attorney General Merrick Garland. Reports said several gun-control advocates and local officials also attended.
“Nothing I’m about to recommend in any way impinges on the Second Amendment. They’re phony arguments suggesting that these are Second Amendment rights at stake from what we’re talking about.”
According to text provided by the White House, Biden is directing the Department of Justice to, within 30 days, issue a proposed rule aimed at curbing the spread of so-called ghost guns, or guns that are made from build-it-yourself kits.
The government will also in the next two months issue a proposed rule declaring that a pistol equipped with a stabilizing brace will be labeled a short-barreled rifle, and it will publish model “red flag” legislation for states.
Three other actions announced April 7 by the administration include investing in “community violence interventions” meant to curb the spike in murders and shootings seen last year; issuing an annual report on firearms trafficking; and nominating David Chipman as the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Chipman is a former adviser to the gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety and currently an adviser at Giffords, an organization that says it works to stop gun violence.
“I’ve fought my entire career to end this violence and to pass reasonable gun safety laws,” Harris said as she introduced the president on April 7.
“The solutions exist. … People on both sides of the aisle want action, real people. … So all that is left is the will and the courage to act.”
Biden then called on Congress to take action, saying: “Enough prayers. … It’s time for some action.”
Earlier on April 8, several prominent gun rights groups including the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Gun Owners of America criticized Biden’s announcement.
The latter group described Biden’s announcement as tyrannical in nature.
“Like a dictator, Biden is seeking to unilaterally regulate firearms that gun owners currently own. And he’s doing this via executive action—bypassing the constitutional requirements which give Congress the authority to pass legislation,” Gun Owners of America said on April 8.
The NRA, meanwhile, warned after Biden’s speech that his orders will “dismantle the Second Amendment.”