Biden toughens action against gun violence and “ghost” equipment trafficking
So far this year there have been 11,424 deaths from actions with firearms in the United Statesincluding 132 shootings, like the one that occurred in Boulder, Colorado, on March 22, where 10 people were killed, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
President Joe Biden He had anticipated during his campaign that he would take important actions in the fight against the use of firearms, such as toughening the review of the history of those who can legally buy, as well as pushing the ban on the sale of assault equipment and fight against so-called “ghost weapons”those that are trafficked in parts.
This Thursday, President Biden announced his first actions, which reinforce the path of a bill that is being discussed by Congress, since the federal administration has limited capacity to take actions. The president urged the Senate to put aside “prayers and thoughts” and take action.
“They can do it right now. You have offered many thoughts and prayers, members of Congress, but you have not passed a single new federal law to reduce gun violence.”he claimed at a press conference in the Rose Garden at the White House.
Democrats are currently divided on a law that would help increase the track record of gun buyers, a problem that President Biden called “an epidemic” and a “shame”.
“Violence with weapons in this country is an epidemic and is an international shame,” said the president, who was accompanied by the vice president Kamala Harris and the attorney general Merrick Garland, who will follow up on different actions promoted by the president.
In a preview of the White House to journalists this Wednesday, it was indicated that although all communities in the country face gun violence, the problem worsens in neighborhoods with high poverty and racial segregation.
“Black men represent 6% of the population, but they are more than 50% of the victims of homicide with firearms”the government indicated. “Black women, Latinos and Native Americans are also disproportionately affected.”
The Biden Administration will increase its support for Community Violence Initiatives (CVIs) to reduce gun violence through actions other than incarceration.
“(It) deploys people who work directly with the people who are most likely to commit violence with firearms, intervene in conflicts and connect people with social and economic services,” it said. “Programs like these have reduced homicides by up to 60% in the areas where they are implemented.”
President Biden assigns David Chipman as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), an agency that has not had a Senate-confirmed officer at its helm since 2015.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (New York), considered that President Biden is taking important steps in the fight against armed violence, but acknowledged that the president’s executive actions are not enough and hoped that Congress would advance legislation, such as the sale of “ghost weapons.” .
“The American people are demanding action from Congress, and I am committed to getting the vote out of the Senate.”, he pointed. “I also look forward to the Senate quickly processing and confirming the President’s excellently qualified nominee to head the ATF.”
5 concrete actions
1. The “ghost weapons”.- In the next 30 days, the Justice Department will issue a rule to help stop the proliferation of “ghost weapons,” a growing problem that allows organized crime to separately purchase equipment and then assemble it. These weapons cannot be traced.
2. Special equipment.- A rule will also be implemented to clarify when a commercially available device can give a short-barreled rifle stability for easy use by an attacker, such as the Boulder shooter.
3. Risk in families.- A “red flag” “model law” will also be published for states to pass rules in the states that allow them to request a court order that temporarily prohibits people in crisis from accessing firearms, if they pose a danger for themselves or for others. This is considered in the federal plan.
4. Intervention in community violence.- It seeks to expand programs to prevent gun violence in communities, including seeking options other than incarceration.
5. Arms trafficking.- The Justice Department will issue an annual report on firearms trafficking, something that hasn’t been done since 2000. This will help lawmakers push for reform.
Experts back plan
The journalist and expert in organized crime, Ioan Grillo, author of the book “Blood gun money. How America Arms Gangs and Cartels” and collaborator of The New York Times, considers that these first actions of the president are a good sign.
“It is a good sign that (Biden) is moving on the gun issue. It’s a good sign that he’s doing… to begin with. It’s not a big change in and of itself, but it’s something to start with,” he said.
He stressed that the measures are tied to the discussion in Congress on the review of the history of people who buy weapons, also distinguished three actions.
“(Regarding ghost weapons) it is important to see this, it is a growing problem, as I highlight in the book, 40 percent of the criminals who arrest for ghost weapons are in Los Angeles”, he pointed. “Ask for an arms trafficking report…it’s something that takes the issue of arms trafficking seriously.”
He added that appointing an AFT director is a big step, as he is an indispensable figure. Grillo considered that the “moderate” tone of the president is important.
“I could be cautious, it’s not extreme. I think it’s not good to go in super strong against assault weapons,” he noted. “He has a window of opportunity, because the lobbying of the National Rifle Association (NRA) is slow, because the Democrats have a majority”.
He recognized that President Biden’s actions would have a positive impact in Mexico, as cartels obtain “ghost weapons” and profit from trafficking equipment.
Chelsea Parsons, Vice President of Armed Violence Prevention Policy at the Center for American Progress (CAP) also welcomed President Biden’s decision.
“Today’s announcement ushers in a new era of gun safety in this country,” he said. “(It) attacks some of the most urgent facets of the gun violence crisis: from the need for significantly increased investment in community programs… to closing some of the most dangerous gaps that allow the gun industry to innovate. around the law, to providing crucial traffic information.”