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Biden's Executive Orders On Gun Control Call On Justice Department To Act

From The White House, USA Today, and American Progress - President Joe Biden signed six executive orders Thursday addressing "ghost guns," "red flag" laws, and community violence intervention. The order largely calls on the Department of Justice for further investigation, proposals, and actions.

What's are Biden's most recently signed executive orders regarding gun control?

  1. Within 30 days, the Department of Justice will issue a proposed rule to help stop the production of "ghost guns," which often come in the form of kits that contain nearly all of the components and directions for finishing the assembly of a firearm. "Ghost guns" are reportedly very difficult for law enforcement to track because they do not contain a serial number.

  2. Within 60 days, the Department of Justice will issue a proposed rule to determine when a device that is marketed as a stabilizing brace effectively turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle. This order is partially in reference to a recent mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, where the shooter allegedly used a pistol with an arm brace, which made the firearm more stable and accurate while also still making it concealable.

  3. Within 60 days, the Department of Justice will publish proposed "red flag" legislation for states to use. "Red flag" laws allow family members or law enforcement to petition for a court order that temporarily bars people who are not in the right mental or physical state from accessing firearms if they present a danger to themselves or others.

  4. The Biden Administration will invest in evidence-based community violence interventions, which are strategies for reducing gun violence in urban communities through tools other than incarceration.

  5. The Department of Justice will begin issuing an annual report on firearms trafficking. The report can then be used by states, local governments, and federal policymakers to better determine and disband some of the common channels of firearms trafficking.

  6. Biden nominated David Chipman to serve as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, which is the key agency to enforcing gun laws. If confirmed by Congress, Chipman will be the first confirmed director of the agency since 2015.

Upon the signing of Thursday's executive orders, Biden continued to call on Congress to pass legislation to reduce gun violence.

On March 11, the House of Representatives passed two bills that were designed to expand background checks on individuals seeking to purchase or transfer firearms and to close the "Charleston loophole," which allows gun sellers to decide whether to sell guns to buyers if the National Instant Criminal Background Checks System fails to return a definitive result to determine the eligibility of the buyer within three business days. Although rare, when the "Charleston loophole" is utilized, the gun sale is classified as a default proceed sale, as it is assumed by default that the person attempting to buy the gun is clear to proceed because the seller never received notice indicating otherwise.

The March 11 bills had bipartisan support in the House of Representatives, but they face an uncertain future in the Senate.

Image from Reuters

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