PRESIDENT Joe Biden ordered a gun crackdown today, including a ban on assault weapons and increased background checks.
Biden confirmed several measures will be implemented through both executive and legislation action on Thursday morning, with a focus on weapons after a spate of gun violence in the USA.
Addressing reporters in Washington, DC today, the president gave a speech about Gun Violence Prevention and the steps his administration was taking from the Rose Garden shortly before 12pm.
He was joined by Vice President Kamala Harris and Attorney General Merrick Garland when he announced that he wanted a national red flag law, background checks for gun owners, and closing dangerous loopholes.
Biden started off by praising lawmakers "who are absolutely determined to get this done" but cautioned that country has "a long way to go."
"Nothing I'm about to reccomend impinges on the Second Amendment and delcared that it was "bizarre" and a "phony argument" to suggest otherwise.
"You can't yell fire in a crowded movie theater and call it free speech," Biden said. "Gun violence in this country is an epidemic and it is an international embarassment.
"So many people know that well … When seconds change your life forever."
Biden said he had met many Americans who lost their husband, children or wives, and understood what it was like "to bury a piece of your soul in the earth."
"It takes a lot of courage to come to an event like this," he added, acknowledging the parents of Daniel Barden, who was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting.
"Enough, enough, enough," Biden said. "One hundred and six [people] die every day from [gun violence].
"There were more than 850 additional shootings," he noted after referencing the widely publicized mass shootings.
"I'm here to talk about two thing: the steps we're going to take immediately and the actions we're going to take."
Biden said he would reign in the proliferation of "ghost guns" who have no serial numbers and the buyers can just buy the kit.
"I want to see these kits treated as firearms," he said, noting that it would require manufacturers making them with serial numbers.
He said we have to "adjust" and to ask the Justice Departyment to release an new annual report and to treat pistols modified with stabilizing braces to be treated accordingly when it's "lethal."
"That's what the alleged shooter in Boulder appears to have done," Biden said. "They should be subject to the National Firearms Act."
This involved buyers submitting their name to the Justice Department.
Biden then say he wanted to make it easier for states to adopt red flag laws which "allow police or fmaily member to petition a court and ask the m to remove a firearm from a person considered a danger to themselves or others.
"Every single an average of 53 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner," he said. "We know red flag laws can have significant effect in protecting women from domestic violence.
He said he was "proud" that the red flag law in Delaware was named after his late son Beau Biden as he called for a "national red flag law."
In reference to the spike in violence hitting black and brown communities the hardest, he said there were "proven strategies" that reduce gun violence in urban communities that were "badly underfunded" or not at all.
Biden pointed out that gun violence cost the US $280billion every year from hospital fees, prison costs and other consequences, not to mention the "profound impact" it had on children "even if they're never involved in pulling the trigger.
He then nominated David Chipman to head up the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
"For a fraction of the cost, we can save lives," he said. "Save billions of American dollars… Much of it is taxpayer money."
"Enough prayers: time for some action," he said, urging the Senate to pass House-passed bills to prevent gun owners to bypass the background checks and ensuring the Charleston Loophole is closed.
Biden said if the FBI hasn't completed the background check within three days, you could buy the gun under this loophole.
"All these bills they had support of both Democrats and Republicans in the House," he said, adding that background checks weren't a "partisan issue."
"I'm willing to work with anyone," he said. "It's long past time that we act…We should also ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines in this country.
"Even law enforcement officials … they sometimes feel outgunned."
Biden said although the gun conversation was a contentious topic, he insisted that the overwhelming majority of Americans wanted a change.
Garland said the Justice Department would measure the rate of gun trafficking in a "data-driven way" to combat the criminal networks and noted that modern guns could be sold in new ways.
"We will evaulation how some of our best tools… are keeping up with the times," Garland continued, announcing a study into the matter, and said they would close the loophole that contribute to the distribution of ghost guns.
This would prevent people barred from buying firearms from getting a "buy, build, shoot" kit – but because of a legislative gap, they're being sold without serial numbers of background checks.
He said this would be plugged within 30 days. Thirdly, he said that statuatory restrictions would apply when rifles have been modified with a stabilizing brace, converting it into a short-barrelled rifle.
He said that ATF that within 60 days, this would be subject to the requirements of the statute and publish model red flag laws, which 19 states have already taken steps to do.
He also touted the communities effected most by gun violence would be made a priority – but noted that none of these measures can be carried out without strong leadership.
He praised Chipman's extensive experience as an ATF agent would "prove invaluable."
"Looking out at all of you is not only a reminder of the tragic toll," he said, "But also the resilience… to stopping the plague of gun violence and saving the lives of those we love."
Speaking from the podium, Harris said she had seen gun violence "up close" and "what a bullet can do to the human body."
"I have seen children who were traumatized by a parent or sibling," she said, adding that it was her mission to pass "reasonable gun safety laws."
"What are we waiting for?" Harris asked. "We've had more tragedies than we can bear… People on both sides of the aisle want action… So all that is left is the will and the courage to act. Joe Biden has the will and the courage to act."
Harris touted Biden working to pass gunlegislation in 1993 which kept more than three million firearms out of the hands of dangerous people and led the Obama-Biden administration on this issue, which resulted in two dozen actions.
"He has seen the grief of all of those who have lost a loved one to gun violence," she added, saying "he will never give up on this fight."
Before his address, the White House released a statement on Wednesday outlining six initiatives on Wednesday, beginning with directing the Department of Justice to regulate "ghost guns" within the next 30 days.
Ghost guns are homemade or makeshift firearms that often lack serial numbers and tend to be hard to track.
It confirmed that the DOJ will be expected to issue rules meant to curb the production of these gun-making kits and the agency was asked to regulate concealed assault-style firearms within 60 days ahead of Biden's address.
"The alleged shooter in the Boulder tragedy last month appears to have used a pistol with an arm brace, which can make a firearm more stable and accurate while still being concealable," the statement read.
The Biden administration has been under increasing pressure to regulate guns after there were three separate mass shootings in the US during the second half of March.
A shooting at a Colorado supermarket left 10 people dead, a shooting rampage at Atlanta-area spas left eight dead, and four people died in a shooting at a Southern California office building.
Biden's crackdown also includes a "red flag" measure, which the DOJ will be directed to advise states on within 60 days.
These measures would permit courts to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person who is considered a danger to themselves or others.
The president was set to redirect funding for programs to help prevent community violence, have the DOJ issue an annual report of firearms trafficking and nomiate Chipman.
The White House statement said that ATF has not had a confirmed director since 2015, and Chipman – a 25-year veteran of the department – will work to advance commonsense gun safety laws.
It said that the administration "will not wait for Congress to take its own steps – fully within the Administration's authority and the Second Amendment – to save lives."
QAnon Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) was quick to slam the White House's gun control announcement last night, calling Biden's plans an "infringement."
"[Joe Biden] nor any other has no power to infringe on Americans 2nd Amendment rights," she wrote on Twitter.
"That phrase about 'security of a free state' and 'right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed' is there just for times as these. And the people know it."
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