Biden says gun violence is an epidemic, calls for red-flag law


President Joe Biden introduced a collection of government actions on Thursday to scale back gun violence and urged Congress to go broader gun-control laws.

The bundle of actions, Biden’s first try as president to deal with the fraught politics surrounding weapons in America, was unveiled within the wake of a latest spate of mass shootings throughout the nation, together with Thursday in South Carolina, the place 5 individuals have been gunned down. In the previous three weeks, different lethal mass shootings occurred in Georgia, Colorado and California.

“This is an epidemic, for God’s sake, and it has to stop,” Biden mentioned in a Rose Garden speech.

The White House’s strikes embody directing the Department of Justice to craft a rule addressing the unfold of untraceable “ghost guns” and publish an instance of “red flag” laws for states to observe.

Red-flag legal guidelines enable police or relations to petition a courtroom to bar an particular person from accessing firearms. Biden additionally known as for a federal red-flag law, saying such laws would forestall suicides, shield ladies from home violence, and cease mass shooters earlier than they perform an assault.

Biden introduced he would nominate former federal agent David Chipman to go the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Chipman, who spent 25 years as an ATF particular agent, is a senior policy advisor for the gun-control advocacy group Giffords.

Here’s what Biden’s actions will do, in accordance with the White House:

  • Direct the Justice Department to suggest a rule inside 30 days to assist cease the proliferation of ghost weapons – firearms assembled from kits that always lack serial numbers and are troublesome to hint.
  • Direct the DOJ to craft a rule inside 60 days that clarifies the purpose at which a stabilizing arm brace successfully turns a pistol right into a short-barreled rifle, subjecting that firearm to further laws.
  • Direct the DOJ to publish, inside 60 days, mannequin red-flag laws, which lets law enforcement officers or relations ask a courtroom to briefly bar somebody from accessing weapons beneath sure circumstances. The White House says the mannequin laws will make it simpler for states to go their very own variations of that law.
  • Direct the DOJ to situation a complete report on gun trafficking.

Biden additionally known as for Congress to end the broad immunity that gun-makers have from being sued for shootings.

The administration additionally hopes to focus funding in “community violence interventions,” that are strategies for decreasing gun violence in cities with out incarcerating individuals, the actual fact sheet mentioned. Some metropolitan areas, resembling New York City, are grappling with a surge in taking pictures crimes and homicides amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In his speech Thursday, Biden lamented that gun violence has change into “an international embarrassment” for the U.S.

President Joe Biden speaks as he proclaims government actions on gun violence prevention within the Rose Garden on the White House in Washington, April 8, 2021.

Kevin Lemarque | Reuters

“Our flag was still flying at half staff for the victims of the horrific murder of eight primarily Asian American people in Georgia, when 10 more lives were taken at a mass murder in Colorado,” Biden mentioned.

He spoke after an introduction from Vice President Kamala Harris, and his speech was adopted by remarks from Attorney General Merrick Garland.

The president emphasised that the newly introduced actions have been merely preliminary steps, and heaped stress on federal lawmakers to go gun-reform proposals which have already been authorised by the Democrat-led House.

“There’s much more that Congress can do to help that effort, and they can do it right now,” Biden mentioned.

“They’ve offered plenty of thoughts and prayers, members of Congress. But they’ve passed not a single new federal law to reduce gun violence,” he mentioned.

“Enough prayers; time for some action.”

But Biden additionally mentioned he is “willing to work with anyone to get this done,” and expressed a need to take further actions, together with reinstating a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

“We should also eliminate gun manufacturers from the immunity they receive from the Congress,” Biden mentioned. “If I get one thing on my list, Lord came down and said, ‘Joe, you get one of these,’ give me that one.”

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