President Biden appeared in the Rose Garden on Thursday to announce six executive orders on guns and named a new head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
President Biden took to the White House Rose Garden to announce half a dozen new executive orders aimed to curb gun violence in the country. Biden took a strong stance and tone as he called the recent wave of gun violence “an epidemic and an international embarrassment.”
His announcement comes on the same day as another mass shooting in Bryan, Texas, and not even 24 hours after another shooting in Philadelphia. Earlier this week there was a shooting that partly took place at a military base in Frederick, Maryland, and closely followed the grocery store shooting in Colorado that left ten people dead, and a series of shootings at Atlanta-area massage parlors in March.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have already been 126 mass shootings in the United States in 2021 as of April 8. A 2013 CRS report found that mass shootings compromise just 0.5-1% of gun homicides per year in the United States. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, among prisoners who possessed a gun during their offense: 10% got it from a retail store, 0.8% acquired it at a gun show, and 43% obtained it from the underground market or off-the-street. The CDC states that “Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million.”
The executive orders range in scope from regulating gun accessories to research on gun trafficking. The orders include:
- Giving the Justice Department 30 days to draft a proposed measure that would “help stop the proliferation” of what are often referred to as “ghost guns;” guns that are built at home often using a kit. These guns do not have serial numbers which makes them harder to trace after a crime is committed.
- The Justice Department is ordered to issue a report on the trafficking of firearms, a report which was last completed by DOJ in 2000, and is still used to legislate firearms today. Biden’s order includes instructions to provide an annual update to the report.
- The DOJ must provide a model “red flag law” within 60 days that states can emulate when making their own laws that make it possible for friends and family members to alert authorities if they think someone with a firearm is a danger to themselves or others. Biden has expressed interest in the past regarding a federal red flag law, but at the very least wants to provide a model for states who wish to enact their own versions of the law.
- The Biden-Harris administration will invest $5 billion over the next 8 years to fund “evidence-based community violence interventions,” which includes issuing instructions to states on how to utilize Medicaid to reimburse communities that provide violence intervention resources to their residents.
- Within 60 days, DOJ will provide a proposed rule to make clear when a device marketed as a stabilizing brace effectively turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act.” This comes on the heels of the Colorado shooting, in which the shooter was reported to have used a stabilizing brace to gun down ten people.
- The final executive order nominates David Chipman to serve as the new Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
Chipman is a former ATF agent of 25 years, and currently serves as a senior policy adviser to Giffords, a non-profit that advocates for stronger gun laws run by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot and wounded in a mass shooting in 2011. Chipman’s confirmation is not guaranteed, as gun rights groups have already begun sounding alarms at his nomination. Gun Owners of America Vice President Erich Pratt said in a statement to Fox News, “GOA is … shocked at the brazen decision to nominate a registered anti-gun lobbyist to be director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives…David Chipman’s anti-constitutional lobbying career clearly disqualifies him from holding public office.”
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ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: DESERET NEWS