Biden announced several executive actions on gun control, claiming that his actions do not violate the U.S. Constitution. Kamala Harris introduced him, saying that people across the aisle wanted action and what was left was “the will and the courage to act.”
"Nothing I'm about to recommend in any impinges on the Second Amendment," Biden said. "These are phony arguments suggesting that these are Second Amendment rights at stake from what we're talking about."
Biden termed “gun violence” as an epidemic and an international embarrassment. Claiming that the Second Amendment rights were not at stake, the president said that no “amendment to the constitution is absolute.”
“From the very beginning, you couldn't own any weapon you wanted to own. From the very beginning the Second Amendment existed, certain people weren't allowed to have weapons. So the idea is just bizarre to suggest that some of the things we're recommending are contrary to the Constitution."
He directed the Department of Justice (DOJ) to propose a rule within 30 days regulating “ghost guns”. Similarly, he urged the DOJ to propose a measure regulating pistol braces, which are devices that allow physically challenged people to efficiently use large pistols for self-defense.
Additionally, the DOJ would create a model for states to adopt extreme risk protection orders commonly known as the “red flag” laws. He also promised to update and publish the gun trafficking report and spend more on community gun violence interventions.
Top officials said he would pursue a mixture of legislative and executive actions to achieve his objectives.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif) said Biden had announced his intention to trample Americans’ constitutional 2A rights through executive fiat. Rep. McCarthy promised that House Republicans would fight to ensure that the constitution was followed.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) that the solution to address crime was to “go after violent criminals” instead of restricting the 2A rights of law-abiding citizens.
Several gun-control organization representatives attended the conference including Brady’s President Kris Brown, Giffords co-founder former Rep. Gabby Giffords, and Fred Gutenberg, one of the Sandy Hook Elementary victim’s parents.
Biden also announced David Chipman as the proposed Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Chipman worked as a senior policy advisor at Giffords gun control group before his nomination. He also spent 25 as an ATF special agent overseeing the agency’s Firearms program.
Chipman must be confirmed by Senate, which is deeply divided across party lines. Unless Democrats find a way to circumvent the filibuster, his confirmation is highly unlikely.
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