President Joe Biden on Thursday unveiled actions aimed at curbing gun violence, calling it an epidemic that “has to stop.”
Biden announced six steps, including tighter rules on buyers of home-assembled “ghost guns”; directing the Justice Department to draft policy on arm braces that steady pistols; model “red flag” legislation for states; funds for community-based violence intervention; and an annual report on firearms trafficking.
Speaking in the White House Rose Garden, Biden also nominated gun-control advocate David Chipman to be director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Chipman has served as a senior policy adviser at Giffords, an advocacy group founded by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was injured in a 2011 shooting.
“This is an epidemic, for God’s sake,” Biden said. “And it has to stop.”
He called his actions “totally consistent with the Second Amendment.”
The president last month called on Congress to act on gun-control measures in the wake of two deadly mass shootings, and said it should not be a partisan issue. He called on the Senate to pass two House bills that would close loopholes in background checks and pressed for banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
Biden again pressed Congress on Thursday, saying: “Enough prayers. Time for some action.”
Julie Gunlock, director of the Center for Progress and Innovation at the group Independent Women’s Forum, criticized Biden’s steps in a statement.
“As we’ve seen over and over again, these measures do nothing to reduce gun violence but they do make people more vulnerable to criminals. People have a right to defend themselves, and the government should have no role in telling people how to do it,” she said.
Biden was joined at the White House by Attorney General Merrick Garland as well as Vice President Kamala Harris, members of Congress and family members of victims of gun violence.