Biden signs order to tighten gun control in the US.

Joe Biden heads toward a community in Monterey Park, California, which in January 2023 was the scene of a shooting that left 11 dead and nine wounded.

Joe Biden heads toward a community in Monterey Park, California, which in January 2023 was the scene of a shooting that left 11 dead and nine wounded.

Photo: EFE – Allison Dinner

President Joe Biden announced this Tuesday a new package of measures to limit the circulation of firearms. The Democrat, who since his presidential campaign recalled the importance of regulating and tightening the sale of weapons, recalled that Congress must impose restrictions against the shootings that occur year after year.

The announcement was made at a meeting that the president had in Monterey Park, California, which in January of this year was the site of a shooting that left 11 dead and nine wounded in a dance hall.

During his address, Biden recalled the victims of shootings in recent months, and insisted that the dead not be reduced to statistics that do not stop increasing.

“This has been a place of refuge for generations with different roots. (…) That was a day of celebration that became fearful and dark,” said the chief executive.

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The president also invited Brandon Tsay, a 26-year-old man who disarmed the Monterey Park shooter to stop him from firing on civilians, to speak.

Biden then urged Congress to take “responsibility” and clamp down on military-style semi-automatic rifles, which are most often used in mass shootings.

It is important to mention that Congress is divided, with a Senate in the hands of the Democrats and the House of Representatives controlled by the Republicans. The latter have for decades pushed back against tougher gun-purchasing laws.

New gun control measures

The most important measure enacted on Tuesday is a decree that tightens the rules on background checks. Polls show overwhelming popular support for a general rule requiring criminal record checks on anyone who buys a firearm.

Currently only federally licensed dealers, responsible for less than half of gun sales, are required to complete background checks nationwide, though some states have imposed additional requirements.

Biden’s move directs the attorney general to clamp down on vendors who breach controls.

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“It’s just common sense: check to see if someone is a criminal or a domestic abuser before you buy a gun,” the president said.

According to Biden, the decree or executive order, which the president can apply without congressional approval, will also increase pressure on arms dealers.

It will lead to an independent study exposing “how gun manufacturers aggressively market firearms to civilians, especially minors, including through the use of military imagery,” it said.

The attorney general will also be required to publish official reports naming firearms dealers who violate the laws.

The executive order that the president issued will promote improvements to support survivors and families of shooting victims during their recovery processes in terms of mental health. To do this, the Ministry of Health and the Attorney General’s Office must submit a proposal to the Presidency with that objective before September 15 of this year.

Along these lines, the president explained that information campaigns will be launched on the so-called “danger alert (Red Flag)” laws, which allow the activation of a legal procedure to confiscate firearms from those who represent a danger to third parties or for themselves.

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June will mark one year since Congress approved a limited but historic legislative deal to control firearms. However, this law has met with opposition from some members of the Republican Party, who argued that it violates constitutional rights.

The US president concluded his speech by addressing them and insisting on the “need” to approve “additional measures” to ban assault weapons and high-capacity chargers.

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According to the Gun Violence Archive count, 8,415 people have been killed by firearms so far this year in the United States, more than half of them by suicide.

The site recorded 110 shootings during the same period that injured or killed at least four people, not including the shooter.

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