Could Biden Tighten Gun Control?
Gun control wasn’t one of the executive orders President Biden planned to address when he took office. However, less than three months into his presidency, experts believe that he will use executive authority to slow down gun sales and revisit background checks. Officials from his administration have met with gun control groups to discuss what steps they can take next on the matter of gun control.
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57 percent of Americans support stricter gun laws, but some vocal groups who defend the Second Amendment claim that Biden doesn’t have the authority to ban assault weapons. However, they admit that the President could overstep Congress and use regulatory authority to restrict guns. Democrats are in majority in the Senate, but new gun laws are not likely to clear the 60-vote filibuster. Other fears expressed by Second Amendment advocates include Biden expanding the background check system and shutting down the ghost gun market. Ghost guns are assembled from kits and therefore have no serial numbers and are not subject to background checks.
On the other end of the gun-control spectrum, people are cheering on Bidens’ commitment to gun control, which he made explicit during his campaign. In a statement to Fox News, John Feinblatt, the president of Everytown for Gun Safety said that he looked forward to Biden prioritizing the end of gun violence. The group wants the President to release funding for community violence intervention programs and address the Charleston loophole, which allows sellers to complete a sale if a background check takes longer than three days.
As a senator, Biden helped pass the Brady Bill of 1993 and helped pass the original assault weapon ban. Throughout his political career, he has been vocal about his commitment to tighten gun laws. However, whether Biden will take a legislative approach or an executive one on this issue is still uncertain. White House Press secretary Jen Psaki said that gun control was a priority for the president on a personal level. Earlier, Biden had called gun violence “an epidemic” and said he would not wait for the next mass shooting to act on gun control.