U.S. President Joe Biden speaks as he announces executive actions on gun violence prevention in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 8, 2021.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks as he announces executive actions on gun violence prevention in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 8, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

President Joe Biden announced a series of executive actions on Thursday aimed at addressing “the gun violence public health epidemic” in America.

These initial actions are outlined below:

  • The Department of Justice will issue within 30 days a rule to crack down on “ghost guns,” homemade firearms that lack serial numbers and are often purchased without a background check.
  • The DOJ will propose within 60 days a rule to make it clear when stabilizing braces turn a pistol into a short-barreled rifle.
  • The DOJ will outline within 60 days model “red flag” legislation for states. Red flag laws allow family members or law enforcement to petition to temporarily bar people from accessing firearms.
  • The Biden administration will invest in evidence-based community violence interventions and strategies for reducing violence in urban communities through tools other than incarceration.
  • The DOJ will publish an annual report on firearms trafficking.
  • Biden nominated David Chipman to serve as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He was previously a senior policy advisor for Giffords, a gun violence prevention group founded by former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Giffords praised his nomination.

Biden also discussed a list of priorities he’d like to see Congress tackle, including passing the Violence Against Women Act, eliminating lawsuit exemptions for gun manufacturers and banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. He urged the Senate to close background check loopholes and referenced measures that were passed in the House of Representatives. Biden emphasized that the six actions proposed were just the first step in addressing gun violence. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer pledged to schedule votes on gun legislation and confirm Chipman.

Joseph Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, said the moves will start to address the U.S. epidemic of gun violence. He said the decision to target ghost guns “will undoubtedly save countless lives – as will the critical funding provided to groups that focus on city gun violence.

“If done in a manner that respects the rights of law-abiding citizens, I believe there is an opportunity to strengthen our background check system so that we are better able to keep guns away from those who have no legal right to them,” said Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, who worked with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin on a 2013 background check bill.

National Rifle Association spokeswoman Amy Hunter said the president aims to restrict the rights of law-abiding gun owners, ignore criminals and forego measures that would keep Americans safe. The NRA referred to Biden’s proposals as “extreme” and said it is “ready to fight.” Arizona preempted Biden’s announcement by passing Arizona House Bill 2111, which states that federal gun laws that impede the right to bear arms are “unenforceable” in the state. Public officials will also be barred from using funds or personnel to enforce U.S. government gun reform measures. In addition, Tennessee became the 19th state to pass a permitless gun carry bill.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

This section includes an aggregation of articles showing different viewpoints on the topic.

Joe Biden announces first steps to curb ‘epidemic’ of US gun violence – The Guardian – 4/8/2021
Thursday’s executive actions were praised by gun violence prevention campaigners as a promising start. Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Sense in America, told the MSNBC network: “We are thrilled about what happened today. This is a huge victory for the gun safety movement. We applaud President Biden for his strong leadership.”

Jonathan Turley: Joe and Hunter Biden and ‘red flag’ gun laws – here comes the next big test for liberal media – Fox News – 4/8/2021
It is the “red flag” provision that stands out on this list. Biden is giving the Justice Department a 60-day period to develop model “red flag” legislation that would allow friends and family members to identify an individual as a potential danger, thereby temporarily preventing the person from accessing a firearm.

Biden announces first gun control action, wins praise from key Republican senator – Salon – 4/8/2021
“President Biden’s expressed willingness to work with both Republicans and Democrats to achieve this goal,” Republican Sen. Pat Toomey said after Biden’s speech. Toomey, who is retiring after his term ends in 2022, said: “If done in a manner that respects the rights of law-abiding citizens, I believe there is an opportunity to strengthen our background check system so that we are better able to keep guns away from those who have no legal right to them.” 

Biden Announces Nomination of Anti-Gunner David Chipman to ‘AFT,’ Along With New Gun Control Measures – American Greatness – 4/8/2021
The term “ghost gun,” conservative commentator Dana Loesch explains, refers to a “perfectly legal hobbyist-made firearms for personal use but because Democrats haven’t bothered to look up the law mandating that homemade firearms are legal but must be serialized before sale, they believe that the guns are untraceable and not subjected to federal regulation, thus, “ghosts.”

Biden Signed Narrow Gun Control Measures And Begged Congress To Act On The Big Reforms – BuzzFeed News – 4/8/2021
Biden acknowledged that there is only so much he can do. He spent much of his speech imploring Congress to take action. Changing the law to enact an assault weapons ban or fix the country’s loophole-ridden background check system can only be done with Congress.

West Virginia AG Threatens to Sue Biden Admin over Gun Control EOs – Breitbart – 4/8/2021
“Defending the Second Amendment remains one of the most important priorities for the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office. I will not allow the far left to run roughshod over our citizens’ gun rights. If President Biden follows through on his proposals, we will be in court very quickly,” Morrisey said in a statement. “Gun violence and the senseless death attributed to it should pain all Americans, however, the evil acts of a select few should never be a catalyst for stripping the lawful masses of their constitutional rights, especially their right to self-defense and to bear arms.” 

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

This section includes an aggregation of tweets showing different viewpoints on the topic.

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