Calls to implement stricter measures to end gun violence in the United States have strengthened after a recent shooting in Boulder, Colorado, in late March. The killing took 10 lives and is one of the deadliest in the state’s history.
The Biden administration on Wednesday announced six “initial actions to address the gun violence”, according to a White House statement.
“Cities across the country are in the midst of a historic spike in homicides, violence that disproportionately impacts Black and brown Americans”, the statement reads. “The President is committed to taking action to reduce all forms of gun violence – community violence, mass shootings, domestic violence, and suicide by firearm.”
Reiterating the president’s call for Congress to “pass legislation to reduce gun violence”, the administration has introduced “its own steps” to “save lives”.
- Countering ‘ghost guns’. The Justice Department is set to issue a proposed rule to help stop the proliferation of ghost guns within 30 days.
- Addressing stabilizing braces. Within 60 days, the Justice Department will issue a proposed rule “to make clear when a device marketed as a stabilizing brace effectively turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act.”
- ‘Red flag’ legislation. Red flag laws allow family members or law enforcement to ask for a court order to temporarily prohibit “people in crisis” from accessing firearms if it is judged that they present a danger to themselves or others.
- ‘Evidence-based community violence interventions’. According to the statement, “community violence interventions are proven strategies for reducing gun violence in urban communities through tools other than incarceration”.
- An annual report on firearms trafficking. The Justice Department will release “a new, comprehensive report on firearms trafficking and annual updates necessary to give policymakers the information they need to help address firearms trafficking today.”
- A new head for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. The president will nominate David Chipman to be the director of the agency.
According to the White House, the latest high-profile shooting incidents in the United States – those in Boulder and Atlanta that saw 10 and 8 killed respectively – “underscored the relentlessness” of what the Biden administration and many others describe as a gun violence public health epidemic.