President Joe Biden on Thursday unveiled several executive orders aimed at tackling gun violence, CBS News reports.
“Gun violence in this country is an epidemic, and it’s an international embarrassment,” Biden said in a speech. “The idea that we have so many people dying every single day from gun violence in America is a blemish on our character as a nation.”
But he pushed back on claims that his executive order would restrict gun ownership.
"Nothing I'm about to recommend in any way impinges upon the Second Amendment," he said. "Whether Congress acts or not, I'm going to use all of the resources at my disposal as president of the United States to protect Americans from gun violence.”
Ghost guns and red-flag laws:
One of Biden’s orders directs the Justice Department to write new rules regarding “ghost guns,” which can be assembled from kits and lack serial numbers.
Biden said he wants ghost gun kits to be “treated as firearms” and include serial numbers on parts.
He also wants people who modify their gun to register and pay a fee.
Another executive order directs the DOJ to create a template for states to use to enact “red flag” laws, which allows courts to order the seizure of firearms from people who pose a threat to others or themselves.
Another order also calls for a study into gun trafficking aimed at helping law enforcement track the source of guns used in crimes.
Biden also directed federal agencies to help boost community violence intervention programs.
Biden calls on Congress to act:
Biden acknowledged the limits of executive power and called on Congress to do more to respond to gun violence.
“They’ve offered plenty of thoughts and prayers, members of Congress, but they’ve passed not a single new federal law to reduce gun violence,” Biden said. “Enough prayers. Time for some action.”
Biden called on Congress to close the gun show loophole and require all buyers to undergo background checks.
He also called on Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, which would close the “boyfriend loophole” to prevent dating partners convicted of violence or abuse from being able to own guns.
He also urged Congress to revive the assault weapons ban, which Biden successfully got passed in 1994 but did not get renewed when it expired in 2004.
"I know it's painful and frustrating that we haven't made progress that we've hoped for," Biden said. "No matter how long it takes, we're going to get these passed. We're not going to give up."