White House reveals Biden plans for gun control executive orders: ‘He’s not waiting for anything to fail’

Administration wants to address ‘community violence and a range of issues that are root causes and lead to the deaths and impact we’re seeing that is so troubling’

Alex Woodward
New York
Wednesday 24 March 2021 18:09 GMT
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Biden calls for gun control action following Boulder mass shooting
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Following the killings of 18 people in mass shootings in Boulder, Colorado and Atlanta within the last week, the White House is mulling executive orders as well as legislative proposals to address the nation’s gun violence.

Joe Biden is “not waiting for anything to fail” in Congress, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday.

“What our team is looking at now is what is the range of legislation out now and whether there are policy gaps that need to be filled or can be revisited,” she said.

The orders will also address “community violence and a range of issues that are root causes and lead to the deaths and impact we’re seeing that is so troubling”, she said.

She added: “No one is talking about overturning or changing the Second Amendment. What our focus is on is putting in place common-sense measures that will make our communities safer.”

Democrats and several Republicans in the House of Representatives passed two bills on background checks earlier this month.

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“I don’t need to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take common sense steps that’ll save lives in the future, and I urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to act,” Mr Biden said on Tuesday during an address to the nation.

He also pressed lawmakers to ban “assault weapons and high-capacity magazines”.

“I got that done when I was a senator. It passed. It was law for the longest time and brought down these mass killings,” he said. “We should do it again.

Mr Biden’s call to statutory action on gun law reform is likely to meet resistance in a split Senate. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin has already announced his opposition to the House bills.

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee staged yet another defence of guns and gun owners at a hearing on Tuesday, accusing their Democratic counterparts of trying to take away guns from “law-abiding citizens” following the recent mass shootings.

“Every time there is a shooting, we play this ridiculous theatre where this committee gets together and proposes a bunch of laws that would do nothing to stop these murders,” said SenatorTed Cruz.

At least 43,436 Americans died from gun violence in 2020, according to the Gun Violence Archive. More than 20,000 people died from shootings, and nearly 24,000 people died from gun-related suicide.

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