The White House unveiled a package of proposals on Thursday aimed at tamping down gun violence, including an attempt to stop the proliferation of makeshift firearms without serial numbers, known as “ghost guns.”
The announcement marks the first try by the Biden administration to take action on America’s epidemic of gun violence, in spite of Congressional partisan gridlock. Mass shootings in just the past few months have claimed lives in Atlanta; Boulder, Colorado; Frederick, Maryland; and Jersey City, New Jersey. And the shootings have shown no sign of slowing down.
Biden made his announcement in the Rose Garden in front of an audience of survivors of gun violence, gun control activists, and law enforcement officials.
“Gun violence in this country is an epidemic. It is an international embarrassment,” said Biden.
“Whether Congress acts or not, I’m going to use all the resources at my disposal to keep people safe from gun violence.”
Biden said he will order the Justice Department to introduce new regulations on ghost guns, which the White House noted are being sold as kits that can be assembled at home in as little as 30 minutes.
Guns and gun control are expected to be a major flashpoint for the Biden Administration, and the issue is already setting the stage for another tense debate over states rights.
This week, preempting Biden action on firearms, Arizona’s governor signed legislation intending to block federal gun legislation. And over recent years, the “Second Amendment Sanctuary” movement—in which counties give their sheriffs the authority to ignore any state or federal gun control that they believe is unconstitutional—has rippled across the nation.
“I know the conversation about guns in this country can be a difficult one,” said Biden. “But even here, there’s much more common ground than anyone can believe. Everything that’s been proposed today is totally consistent with the Second Amendment.”
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