President Joe Biden is trying to limit self-assembled “ghost guns” and make it easier for people to notify family members who shouldn’t be allowed to buy guns.
New measures to combat armed violence, following recent mass shootings, include plans to subject “stabilizer braces” – which turn pistols into rifles – for registration under the national firearms law.
He also wants tighter regulations on “ghost guns” – kit guns that are purchased without a serial number, which makes them easy to use for terrorists and criminals.
Mr. BidenExecutive actions are limited and will always face legal opposition from gun rights advocates, who view any effort to limit access as a violation of the Second Amendment.
More ambitious goals that it needs congressional support to pass include reintroducing a ban on assault weapons, lifting an exemption on prosecution of gun manufacturers, and enacting d ‘a national law on the red flag.
Red flag laws allow family members or law enforcement to ask state courts to temporarily prevent people from obtaining guns if they pose a danger to themselves or for others.
Mr Biden said states with such red flag laws have seen a reduction in the number of suicides.
The President has a gun problem and now we have learned how he proposes to tackle the “epidemic” of violence smashing communities across the United States.
Interestingly, when the path is blocked by Congress, he, like many of his predecessors, has achieved executive action – the fiat of presidential power and a means of moving his agenda forward.
He had promised to increase gun control as part of his campaign and the scale of the problem is enormous.
In a passionate and moving speech in the Rose Garden of the White House, he explained that the devastating violence of toll guns is taking America’s health.
In figures, this gives an austere and depressing reading.
The cost of gun violence, according to the president, is $ 280 billion a year – that is, in hospitals, lawyers, prisons, physiotherapy and lost productivity.
But that cost doesn’t take emotional pain into account.
Every day in the United States, 316 people are shot dead, 106 of whom die.
Each month, 53 women are shot dead by violent partners.
This register of violence is an “epidemic and an international embarrassment,” he said.
Mr Biden’s measures are a start, but it is such a huge problem that it will take a concerted effort.
And there is already resistance.
The National Rifle Association called President Biden’s speech a circus and accused him of dismantling the Second Amendment and urged its members to “stand up and fight.”
The reality is that without the support of Congress, anything that this president, or indeed any president, tries to do to increase gun control will be limited.