President Biden is expected to unveil the first federal office on gun violence prevention Friday, multiple media outlets are reporting.
The president has been facing pressure to create such an office since he was elected, with gun control groups making the case for years that an official office would help coordinate government-wide efforts to address gun violence and allow the White House to “exert more leadership,” The Washington Post reports.
“If this announcement is, in fact, the creation of a single point of leadership on gun violence in the administration, it’s a very big deal for the movement,” said Moms Demand Action’s Shannon Watts, according to the Post.
“For years, we’ve advocated for a centralized team responsible for coordinating federal and state resources and mobilizing movement partners,” she added. “A governmental focal point dedicated to creating a framework for overseeing national policy, research and resources would be more than symbolic — it would be a significant turning point for the movement.”
Among those who will reportedly have key roles in the office are Greg Jackson, executive director of the Community Justice Action Fund, and Rob Wilcox, the Federal Legal Director at Everytown for Gun Safety. White House staff secretary Stefanie Feldman will lead the effort, the reports state.
The creation of the office comes after the president signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act into law last year, which expands background checks for 18 to 21-year-olds and incentivizes states to adopt “red flag” laws. In opposing the measure, the NRA said at the time that the legislation “falls short at every level” and “does little to truly address violent crime while opening the door to unnecessary burdens on the exercise of Second Amendment freedom by law-abiding gun owners.”
Since Congress is unlikely to pass new gun control legislation, the creation of the office allows the president to tout one more way he’s addressing the issue on the campaign trail.