President Joe Biden this Tuesday took a step forward in gun regulation, one of the issues that polarizes Americans the most. The President has signed an executive order tightening controls on the sale of firearms. The initiative aims to make it more difficult for guns and rifles to end up in the hands of people with mental health problems, criminal records or domestic abuse. And also make it easier for police officers and judges to remove weapons from people who represent a potential danger to their community. Biden made the announcement in Monterey Park, an eastern Los Angeles suburb that experienced a shooting last January that killed 11 people and injured nine at a dance studio just hours before Chinese New Year.
Once again reality calls on Biden to act. “This executive order accelerates and accelerates the effort to save lives more quickly,” the president said at an event at the San Gabriel Valley Community Club. At the event, the president spent several minutes remembering the victims of the massacre, one of the worst in the state. Present at the ceremony was 26-year-old Brandon Tse, who disarmed the same assailant who intended to perpetrate another massacre at another Alhambra dance venue in Monterey Park. Tse was invited by Biden to the State of the Union address. “In an instant he found the courage to act and fight someone with a high powered rifle. Brandon saved a life and protected a community,” the president acknowledged.
In his initiative, the president asks the Justice Department to tighten surveillance so that gun shops can conduct the background checks required by federal law. “Specifically, the President is asking the Attorney General to move the United States closer to a universal background check without the need for special legislation,” the White House said Tuesday. “It is common sense to check for criminal or domestic abuse records before selling someone a gun,” Biden said from Los Angeles.
The measure also closes a hole that was left open by the rule that Biden himself signed last year. The new executive order indicates that anyone who sells at least five firearms a year to make a profit will be considered part of the industry. This was one of the main claims of organisms in favor of greater control. As such, sellers at gun shows or advertisers for online gun shops may be subject to regulation and may be required to undergo background checks.
Biden believes that background checks will translate into fewer firearms on the streets. The process also helps in revealing the market volume in the country. In 2021, 1.85 crore background operations were done, which gives an idea of the weapons sold at that time. There were 16.4 million in 2022, which has led the industry to consider that demand has decreased due to the pandemic and Black Lives Matter mobilization across the country.
The initiative announced by Biden also targets “red flags”. This is a reference to a law in force in 19 states other than Washington D.C. It allows police departments, family members, friends, co-workers, employers, and teachers to request an order before a judge that freezes weapons and ammunition. temporarily deletes it. In the hands of people that they are a risk to their environment and themselves. A study at the University of California, one of the states with the strictest gun controls, indicates that these laws primarily favor potential victims of sexist violence. Domestic problems cause the majority of firearm incidents in the United States.
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“These laws are only effective if the public knows when and how to use a Red Flag Order,” the executive branch says. For this reason, Biden has asked the cabinet to work with police forces, doctors, teachers and community leaders to make the rules widely known in the states where they are in force: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware , Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the nation’s capital.
The government also intends to step up its offensive against gun shops. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, along with the Department of Justice, will publish a report of businesses that have been penalized for not complying with federal gun sales requirements. “We must stress that enough is enough and we will not allow the interests of gun manufacturers to trump the safety of our children and the nation,” Biden said in the text of his executive order.
Last year, Biden signed a law that was supported by Democrats and Republicans. The issue often divides both political camps ideologically, but a series of bloody shootings, including the second-biggest school shooting and repeated supermarket assaults by blacks, has shown Washington what it needs to achieve a minimal compromise. Gave air The package of laws, the most significant legislation passed in three decades, makes gun purchases more difficult for people under the age of 21, who must be screened for three days before finalizing their purchase. Should go before enforcement. The first federal law punishing interstate arms trafficking was also approved. The package also allocated $250 million to invest in community campaigns focused on the prevention and care of mental illness.
Biden himself has admitted that these efforts are insufficient. The head of the executive has asked the legislature to approve greater controls and a ban on the sale of high-powered rifles, the weapons of choice by perpetrators of mass shootings that may have caused the greatest number of deaths. Biden recalled this afternoon that, as a legislator, he was involved in a veto on this type of weapon, which was in force from 1994 to 2004. “In those 10 years, murders were down, but our Republican friends let it fester and now murders have tripled. Let’s do our homework. Let’s ban high powered rifles again,” the president said. According to a calculation done by the Archive of Armed Violence, the country has recorded 110 cases so far in 2023, with 8,400 deaths. However, most of these deaths are suicides (4,800).
The Democratic president’s measure has been applauded by organizations fighting for greater regulation of the arms market in the United States. “The measures that Biden prioritizes are proven effective and supported by a vast majority of Americans and strike a balance between our commitment to our rights and our responsibility,” said Peter Ambler, director of the Giffords organization.
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