On Wednesday, the “Biden-Harris Administration” announced a 6-action plan to “address the gun violence public health epidemic” following the recent mass shootings in Boulder, Colorado and Atlanta, Georgia.
According to the Biden-Harris Administration, “...cities across the country are in the midst of a historic spike in homicides, violence that disproportionately impacts Black and brown Americans. The President is committed to taking action to reduce all forms of gun violence – community violence, mass shootings, domestic violence, and suicide by firearm.”
As of April 8, the total number of gun-related deaths - mainly homicide and suicide - in 2021 is up to 11,419 according to Gun Violence Archive. In 2020, there were 43,543 total gun-related deaths in the U.S., so calling what’s occurring now a “historic spike” is disingenuous.
Here are the “actions” the presidents will be taking to “address the gun violence” according to whitehouse.gov:
-The Justice Department, within 30 days, will issue a proposed rule to help stop the proliferation of “ghost guns.”
“Ghost guns” are guns that are put together using kits containing a series of components and directions to create the weapons. The White House argues these kits are a growing problem because when a “ghost gun” turns up at a crime scene, their lack of serial number makes it difficult to trace the weapon.
-The Justice Department, within 60 days, will issue a proposed rule to make clear 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.
“The alleged shooter in the Boulder tragedy last month appears to have used a pistol with an arm brace, which can make a firearm more stable and accurate while still being concealable.”
-The Justice Department, within 60 days, will publish model “red flag” legislation for states.
The “red flag law” will allow family members or law enforcement to request that a court temporarily restrict an individual from accessing a firearm if they are deemed a danger to themselves or others. This law would essentially throw due process to the wayside, as it would allow the court to strip someone of their Second Amendment right without trial.
-The Administration is investing in evidence-based community violence interventions.
This action is divided into three parts:
"The American Jobs Plan proposes a $5 billion investment over eight years to support community violence intervention programs."
"The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is organizing a webinar and toolkit to educate states on how they can use Medicaid to reimburse certain community violence intervention programs, like Hospital-Based Violence Interventions."
"Five federal agencies are making changes to 26 different programs to direct vital support to community violence intervention programs as quickly as possible."
-The Justice Department will issue an annual report on firearms trafficking.
“In 2000, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) issued a report summarizing information regarding its investigations into firearms trafficking, which is one way firearms are diverted into the illegal market where they can easily end up in the hands of dangerous individuals. Since the report’s publication, states, local, and federal policymakers have relied on its data to better thwart the common channels of firearms trafficking.”
-The President will nominate David Chipman to serve as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
“ATF is the key agency enforcing our gun laws, and it needs a confirmed director in order to do the job to the best of its ability. But ATF has not had a confirmed director since 2015. Chipman served at ATF for 25 years and now works to advance commonsense gun safety laws.”
A detailed “fact sheet” on the Biden-Harris Administration’s “investments in community violence interventions” can be found here.