President Biden Issues Executive Order to Strengthen Background Checks for Guns
President Joe Biden has issued an executive order that would strengthen the background checks for gun purchases in the United States. The order requires better coordination between federal agencies to stop the flow of firearms to criminals and others who are prohibited from possessing them.
The executive order comes just weeks after the mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder, which left a total of 18 people dead. Gun control advocates have been urging the president to take action on gun control, and the new executive order is seen as a step in that direction.
Under the executive order, the Department of Justice will issue a proposed rule to curb the proliferation of “ghost guns,” which are homemade firearms that lack serial numbers and can be sold without background checks. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) will also issue a proposed rule to clarify 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.
Biden has also directed the Justice Department to make at least six changes to its programs and policies aimed at reducing gun violence. These include directing resources to the investigation and prosecution of firearms trafficking; improving information sharing with state and local law enforcement agencies; and developing a model “red flag” law that states can use as a guide to pass their own versions.
The president’s executive order will also require background checks for people purchasing home-assembled firearms, marking another step towards closing the so-called “gun show loophole.”
The executive order drew immediate criticism from Republicans, who argued it would infringe on the Second Amendment rights of Americans. However, Biden has insisted that the new measures would not infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens to bear arms.
The new executive order is one of the most comprehensive and far-reaching gun control measures in recent years, and it is expected to spark a fierce debate in Congress and throughout the country.