Well, we’re in it now. Following two mass shootings and Congressional hearings on gun control, President Joe Biden threatened executive action on gun control Wednesday. The comments fan flames on an already white hot, contentious debate over guns. Now the threat of Biden executive action looms over Congressional debate.
Biden Threatens Executive Action on Gun Control
“The vice president touched on the fact that we want something to be permanent,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said today, reported CNN. “If we want it to be lasting, we need to do legislation, he (Biden) certainly believes that, but there are also executive actions under consideration that we will continue working through internally. And there’s lots of levers, you can take, obviously, as President.”
Psaki elaborated the administration’s analysis has already “been ongoing for weeks,” reported CNN. So despite the two most recent shootings, the Biden-Harris White House plotted to pass gun laws. Now the president pushes for the Senate to take action on a House-passed bill that would expand background checks.
Potential Actions, per CNN
- Requiring background checks on “ghost guns,” which are handmade or self-assembled firearms that don’t have serial numbers. The action would officially classify them as firearms, therefore requiring a background check.
- Strengthening the federal background check system to alert law enforcement agencies when someone fails a check. Advocates for this step say it could potentially flag troubled or criminal individuals who are trying to access weapons.
- Fulfilling a campaign pledge to send $900 million for community programs meant to combat violence.
- Providing a better and more expansive definition of what “in the business” of selling guns means, which is the current statutory definition of who requires a license and must conduct background checks. Former President Obama also worked through the “in the business” phrasing to try and expand background checks.
- Biden has also said he’ll task the attorney general with better enforcement of existing gun laws.
So now we get to wait and see if Biden executive action will attempt to circumvent the law. Or will the tactic prove a charade designed to bend Congress to his will. In any event, we’re just now seeing the beginning of this coming fight. It’s gonna be a long road ahead.
Let’s also not forget during the Democratic primaries when Vice President Kamala Harris — then a Democratic candidate — laughed off Biden when he said you can’t use executive action to confiscate AR-15s. He clarified his remark by saying, “Some things you can. Many things you can’t.” While no confiscation is on the current agenda, keep that one in your back pocket. Here’s the video for reference:
FLASHBACK: Kamala Harris laughs when Joe Biden brings up the fact that the Constitution would prevent the President from taking Executive Action to confiscate guns.
I wonder how they both feel about this issue now. pic.twitter.com/33NjAnL5Ic
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) August 13, 2020