President Joe Biden on Thursday announced a slate of executive actions to curb what he called an “epidemic” of gun violence across the country, while again urging the Senate to take action on a cluster of House-passed gun reform bills.
At an event in the White House Rose Garden, Biden — joined by Vice President Kamala Harris and Attorney General Merrick Garland — argued that “nothing” in his administration’s proposals “in any way impinges on the Second Amendment.”
“But no amendment to the Constitution is absolute,” Biden said, decrying the “phony arguments” from those who suggest Americans’ fundamental right to bear arms is at stake.
“The idea is just bizarre to suggest that some of the things we’re recommending are contrary to the Constitution,” Biden said. “Gun violence in this country is an epidemic. Let me say it again. Gun violence in this country is an epidemic. And it’s an international embarrassment.”
Biden said he had asked the Justice Department to identify “immediate, concrete actions” he could take unilaterally as president, and proceeded to outline reforms including: regning in so-called homemade “ghost guns,” requiring the Justice Department to issue a new annual report on firearms trafficking and further regulating weapons with stabilizing braces.
Biden also proposed releasing model “red-flag” legislation authored by the Justice Department for states to adopt, increasing investments in underserved communities and nominating David Chipman, a senior policy adviser for the gun control advocacy group Giffords, to be director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
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