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As cities across the country experience spikes in violent crime, the White House on Wednesday announced a new plan to tackle gun violence, building on President Biden’s vow to make it a priority to tackle gun violence. gun violence epidemic in the United States.
Citing the rise in violence since the coronavirus pandemic forced millions of Americans to quit their jobs and return home for long periods of time, administration officials said Biden would announce a five-point proposal on Wednesday. including :
- crack down on arms dealers who violate federal laws, with a new zero tolerance policy;
- provide additional support to local law enforcement agencies to combat the increase in summer crime;
- invest in community violence intervention programs;
- expansion of summer jobs and services, especially for adolescents and young adults;
- and helping formerly incarcerated people successfully reintegrate into their communities.
A senior administration official told reporters Tuesday night that the Treasury Department will also notify states that they can use funds allocated by the US bailout to help reduce gun violence. Money paid through the COVID Relief Act can be used to hire additional police officers and pay overtime, as well as to help fund employment opportunities for at-risk youth and adults.
“President Biden believes that the upsurge in gun violence that has affected communities across the country over the past year and a half is unacceptable,” the White House said in a backgrounder outlining the plan, “and his administration prepares to act decisively with a whole-of-government approach as we enter the summer months when cities typically experience a spike in violence. ”
Biden has faced criticism from gun safety advocates who say the White House has failed to make gun reform a high enough priority, despite Biden’s promises to work to tackle violent crime.
During Biden’s first months of presidency, the nation saw a number of mass shootings that sparked new calls for gun reform, including the March 16 shooting in the Atlanta spa and the March 22 grocery store shooting in Boulder, Colorado.
Since then, Biden has signed a series of executive actions on gun laws, calling US gun violence an “international embarrassment.”
The Justice Department has also released model legislation from which states can make their own so-called red flag laws to temporarily remove guns from certain people.