President Biden has called for tougher gun laws on the anniversary of the Parkland school shooting massacre but said he hasn’t ruled out using executive actions to bypass Congress. He urged Congress to propose and pass gun reform legislation, which would include background checks on all gun sales and banning assault weapons.
“Time and again, they have showed us how we can turn our grief into purpose – to march, organize, and build a strong, inclusive, and durable movement for change. This Administration will not wait for the next mass shooting to heed that call. We will take action to end our epidemic of gun violence and make our schools and communities safer,” President Biden warned.
Just last week, several gun violence prevention groups met with the Biden Administration and later said they “felt confident” the President would enact gun reform via executive order, if necessary. This contradicts the Americans’ views on stricter gun laws, which Gallup polls show at its lowest level since 2016. Gun sales have also been on the rise due to the ongoing violence surrounding race riots. Anti-gun violence groups, however, have been pushing the Democrats in Congress to strengthen background checks for quite some time now.
“I think everything is on the table. I think the White House is certainly supportive of Congress doing its part. I think there are things we’d like to see happen through legislation. … But certainly there is a role for executive action,” said Adzi Vokhiwa, director of federal affairs at Giffords, an anti-gun violence advocacy group.
Giffords, along with Brady, Everytown for Gun Safety, and Moms Demand Action, met virtually with the head of Domestic Policy Council, Susan Rice, and senior adviser to the president, Cedric Richmond. The meeting was to curb gun violence through executive action or specific proposals set by the Administration.
John Feinblatt, the president of Everytown for Gun Safety, said the meeting provided evidence that the Biden Administration was the “strongest” they’ve seen on gun safety and that “armed extremists” are holding our democracy at gunpoint. He doesn’t mention that the armed extremists are also radical left rioters with illegal weapons.
Reporters asked press secretary Psaki about passing aggressive gun control plans, though she insists they have not put anything together yet. “I will say that the president is somebody throughout his career who has advocated for smart gun safety measures. He has not afraid of standing up to the [National Rifle Association]. He’s done it multiple times and won on background checks and a range of issues. And it is a priority to him on a personal level, but I don’t have a prediction for you, or preview for you on a timeline of a package, and certainly not what it will look like and how it goes through Congress,” she said.
To anti-gun groups, the Biden Administration is the “strongest” they’ve seen yet on gun safety. To the press, there’s no plan. There are two different things being said here and both of them are bad.