President Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order that aims to increase the number of background checks to buy guns, promote better and more secure firearms storage.
This executive order to be signed today, March 14, 2023 also ensures U.S. law enforcement agencies are getting the most out of a bipartisan gun control law enacted last summer.
The Democratic President plans to unveil his latest efforts at curbing gun violence in a speech from Monterey Park, California. In January, a gunman stormed a dance hall in the community and shot 20 people, killing 11, following a Lunar New Year celebration.
White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre said, “Too many lives have been taken by gun violence.”
“But he believes we need to do more. You’ll hear him call on Congress to take action and not to stop … that we need to continue.”White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre
Biden’s executive order; a law a US president can enact without Congress, acknowledges this political reality and lays out a series of actions within his authority, beginning with the expansion of background checks.
Universal background checks; the requirement to run a gun buyer’s information through an FBI database before a sale is made, are seen as key to closing legal loopholes that allow prohibited purchases.
Biden will mandate that his Cabinet work on a plan to better structure the government to support communities suffering from gun violence.
Biden will direct the US attorney general to clarify the statutory definition of who is “engaged in the business” of dealing in firearms, to devise a plan that prevents firearms dealers whose licenses were revoked from continuing to sell, and to name and shame firearms dealers who are breaking the law.
Biden is also mandating better reporting of ballistics data from federal law enforcement for a clearinghouse that allows federal, state and local law enforcement to match shell casings to guns. However, local and state law enforcement agencies are not required to report ballistics data, and many do not, making the clearinghouse less effective.
Federal Trade Commission To Issue A Public Report
Also, the U.S President will ask the Federal Trade Commission to issue a public report analyzing how gun manufacturers market to minors and use military images to market to the general public.
The bill passed last year, known as the Safer Communities Act, is viewed by gun control advocates as a good start but one that does not go far enough. After the law was signed, there have been 11 other mass shootings. Those killings do not include shootings in which fewer than four people were killed. Gun violence is also rising nationwide.
John Feinblatt, President of Everytown for Gun Safety, opined, “President Biden’s executive order today is a home run for public safety.”
“This is the latest example of President Biden’s leadership on gun safety, and we’re proud to stand with him as he takes robust action to help close the gun-seller loophole, which will significantly expand background checks on gun sales, keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous people and save lives.”John Feinblatt
Biden will also direct his Cabinet to make sure law enforcement agencies understand the benefits of the new law, particularly around red-flag laws, also known as extreme risk protection orders, which are intended to temporarily remove guns from people with potentially violent behavior and prevent them from hurting themselves or others.
Last month, the Justice Department sent out more than $200 million to help states and the District of Columbia administer red-flag laws and other crisis-intervention programs.