So far this year they have registered 11,424 deaths from gun actions in the United States, including 132 shootings, such as the one in Boulder, Colorado, on March 22, where 10 people were killed, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
President Joe biden had advanced during his campaign that he would take important actions in the fight against the use of firearms, such as tightening 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 unveiled his first actions, which reinforce the path of a bill that is being discussed in Congress, since the federal administration has limited capacity to take action. 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. “, claimed at a press conference in the Rose Garden at the White House.
Democrats are currently divided on the law that would help increase the record of gun acquirers, a problem that President Biden called “an epidemic” and a “disgrace”.
“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 an advance from the White House to journalists on Wednesday, it was indicated that although all communities in the country face gun violence, the problem is exacerbated 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”, indicated the Government. “Black women, Latinos and Native Americans are also disproportionately affected.”
The Biden Administration will increase its support for Community Violence (CVI) initiatives 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 was anticipated. “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 Office of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), an agency that has not had a Senate-confirmed official at the helm since 2015.
The Majority Leader in the Senate, Chuck schumer (New York), considered that President Biden is taking important steps in the fight against armed violence, but acknowledged that the executive actions of the president are not enough and trusted that Congress will advance legislation, such as the sale of “ghost weapons.” .
“The American people are demanding action from Congress and I am committed to winning the Senate vote.”, he pointed. “I also hope that the Senate will quickly process and confirm the president’s excellent and qualified candidate to head the ATF.”
5 concrete actions
1. The “phantom 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 acquire equipment separately and then assemble it. These weapons cannot be traced.
2. Special equipment.- A rule will also be implemented to clarify when a marketed device can give a short-barreled rifle stability to be easily used by an attacker, such as the marksman in Boulder.
3. Risk in families.- A “model law” of “red flag” will also be published for the states, in order for them to approve in the states norms that allow requesting a court order that temporarily prohibits people in crisis from accessing firearms, if they represent 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 has not been done since 2000. This will help lawmakers push through reforms.
Experts back plan
The journalist and expert on organized crime, Ioan Grillo, author of the book “Blood gun money. How America Arms Gangs and Cartels “ and a contributor to The New York Times, believes that these first actions by the president are a good sign.
“It’s a good sign that (Biden) is moving on the weapons issue. It’s a good signal that you’re doing… to begin with. It is not a big change in itself, but it is something to start with, ”he said.
He stressed that the measures are tied with the discussion in Congress on the review of the history of people who buy weapons, in addition he distinguished three actions.
“(On ghost weapons) it is important to see this, it is a growing problem, as I highlight in the book, in Los Angeles there are 40 percent of criminals who arrest for ghost weapons”, he pointed. “He asks for an arms trafficking report … it is something that takes the issue of arms trafficking seriously.”
He added that appointing an AFT director is a great step, since he is an indispensable figure. Grillo considered that the “moderate” tone of the president is important.
“It could be cautious, it is not extreme. I think it is not good to go super strong against assault weapons, “he said. “He has a window of opportunity, because the lobbying of the National Rifle Association (NRA) is slow, because the Democrats have a majority.”.
He acknowledged that President Biden’s actions would have a positive impact on Mexico, as the cartels obtain “ghost weapons” and profit from the trafficking of equipment.
Chelsea Parsons, Vice President for Gun Violence Prevention Policy at the Center for American Progress (CAP) also welcomed President Biden’s decision.
“Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a new era of firearm safety in this country,” he noted. “(They) attack some of the most urgent facets of the gun violence crisis: from the need for significantly greater investment in community programs… to closing some of the most dangerous gaps that allow the arms industry to innovate around the law, until providing crucial information on the traffic ”.