Biden Visits Monterey Park to Advocate for Gun Reform and Sign Executive Order
President Joe Biden visited Monterey Park, California, on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, to discuss his efforts to reduce gun violence and announce an executive order aimed at increasing the background checks conducted before firearm sales. This directive would also further the initiatives to encourage safe gun handling, as well as reinforce the application of “red flag” laws.
Biden was joined by LA Mayor, Karen Bass, Supervisor Janice Hahn and Brandon Tsay, the man who saved lives by disarming the Monterey Park gunman. During the course of his visit, he delivered a speech at The Boys & Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley, where he met with the families and victims of a January mass shooting in the area.
The executive order would direct the Attorney General to clarify the statutory definition of who is “engaged in the business” of selling firearms, which can require sellers to have federal licenses and run background checks. It would also direct members of the Cabinet to work with local communities and law enforcement where “red flag” laws are in effect allowing residents to petition a court to determine if a person presents a public danger, allowing weapons to be temporarily removed from the person's possession.
The order also calls for the departments of Transportation and Justice to work on a plan to reduce the loss or theft of firearms during shipment and bolster the reporting of such losses and thefts. It further directs federal law enforcement agencies to issue stricter policies requiring the submission of data to the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network, or NIBIN, a database that allows for law enforcement to compare ballistic evidence to but has not been widely adopted.
Biden also called on Congress to pass a universal background check law and end legal immunity protections for gun manufacturers, as well as other gun control legislation, like a ban on assault rifles and a universal background check requirement.
The announcement of the executive orders drew praise from gun reform advocates and Democratic lawmakers, who said it is a step in the right direction at a moment when Congress is unlikely to move on tougher reform measures. Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress and pro-gun groups panned the executive order as overreach.
At present, only federally licensed firearms dealers are mandated to conduct a background check on individuals seeking to purchase a gun. Biden’s executive order would mean fewer guns sold without background checks, and therefore fewer guns ending up in the hands of criminals and domestic abusers.
0. “Biden honors Monterey Park shooting victims while taking executive actions on guns” ABC News, 14 Mar. 2023, https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/biden-honors-monterey-park-shooting-victims-rolling-executive/story?id=97860369
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