On April 8, President Joe Biden announced several new gun control measures, claiming that shootings in America have become a “public health crisis.” In a speech at the White House, he stated that gun violence costs around $280 billion a year to the nation, with minority communities particularly affected by it.
Biden promised to implement effective gun control laws that would make America safer. Biden also dismissed concerns that his gun control laws will violate the Second Amendment which gives Americans the right to bear arms and proclaims that such a right “shall not be infringed.”
“We’re taking steps to confront not just the gun crisis, but what is actually a public health crisis. Nothing — nothing I’m about to recommend in any way impinges on the Second Amendment. They’re phony, arguments suggesting that these are Second Amendment rights at stake from what we’re talking about… Gun violence in this country is an epidemic. Let me say it again: Gun violence in this country is an epidemic, and it’s an international embarrassment,” Biden said in a statement. He outlined four executive actions as part of his gun control strategy.
- Controlling the proliferation of ‘ghost guns’, a term that refers to homemade guns that are built from kits. As such guns don’t carry serial numbers, they can’t be traced back when found at a crime scene. Plus, no background checks are required for these guns.
- Direct the Department of Justice (DoJ) to release an annual report that can aid policy makers address firearms trafficking.
- Subject the pistols modified with stabilizing braces to the National Firearms Act that requires gun owners to submit personal information to the DoJ just like they do when buying a gun with a silencer. Pistols that have stabilizing braces tend to be more accurate, and thus, more lethal.
- Push forward the implementation of ‘red flag’ laws that will allow police officers to petition a court to temporarily remove firearms in the possession of specific individuals if found to be a danger for themselves and others.
In his speech, Biden mentioned that the recent Boulder shooting involved the use of pistols that had stabilizing braces, highlighting why it is important to make such modified firearms subject to the National Firearms Act. Biden made no mention of Colorado’s implementation of red flag laws in January of last year in connection with the Boulder attack.
Gun Owners of America (GOA) has slammed Biden’s executive actions, saying that they violate the Second, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The organization accused the actions to be “tyrannical” and promised to “spare no expense” to defeat them.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) warned that the move could end up making Americans surrender their lawful property and force states to expand confiscation orders. Saying that the president is “dismantling the 2nd Amendment,” the NRA asked its members to “stand and fight.”
Meanwhile, Arizona Governor Republican Doug Ducey has signed legislation that will prohibit any federal firearm laws from being enforced in the state if they violate the Second Amendment. The legislation, HB2111, was earlier passed by the Arizona Senate with Republican support.
“Pursuant to the sovereign authority of this state and article II, section 3, Constitution of Arizona. This state and all political subdivisions of this state are prohibited from using any personnel or financial resources to enforce, administer or cooperate with any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the United States government that is inconsistent with any law of this state regarding the regulation of firearms,” according to the text of HB2111.