Biden announces limited gun restrictions, calls for assault weapons ban
Facing pressure to act after a recent spate of high-profile mass shootings, President Joe Biden unveiled a package of moves Thursday that seek to address a scourge of gun violence he deemed a “blemish on the nation.”
“Gun violence in this country is an epidemic,” Biden said in the Rose Garden to an audience of lawmakers and Americans touched by gun violence. “And it’s an international embarrassment.”
The executive actions — which Biden repeatedly argued did nothing to impinge on the Second Amendment right to bear arms — include efforts to restrict weapons known as “ghost guns” that can be built using parts and instructions purchased online.
The moves are limited in scope and fall short of the steps Biden has vowed to pressure Congress to take. Still, they fulfilled his pledge last month to take “common-sense” steps on his own, and one move — more heavily regulating arm braces used to make firing a pistol more accurate — directly relates to the March shooting in Boulder, Colorado, where such a device was used.
He also announced that he is nominating gun control advocate David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which hasn’t had a permanent director in place since 2015.
Biden emphasized the announcements only amount to the first steps toward addressing gun violence, with later action — like a ban on assault weapons or rules requiring universal background checks — requiring Congress. Biden, who is in the midst of advancing a massive infrastructure plan, has previously voiced uncertainty on the likelihood of passing major new gun laws.
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