President Biden in his first unilateral steps announced a slew of gun control executive orders to curb the “epidemic” of gun violence, pushing back against “phony arguments” from pro-gun rights in claiming to argue that “nothing” in his administration’s proposals “in any way impinges on the Second Amendment.”
“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,” Biden said Thursday in an event on the White House Rose Garden attended by families of gun violence victims, gun control activists, and only Democratic lawmakers.
The event was attended by several high-profile gun control activists, including Brady United President Kris Brown and former Rep. Gabby Gifford (D-AZ) who formed Giffords — an gun control advocacy group following her mass trauma.
Biden went on to argue against the pro-gun rights for “suggesting” his limited power of executive orders put Americans “Second Amendment rights at stake,” saying their “bizarre” idea in thinking the “constitution is absolute.”
“But no amendment — no amendment to the Constitution is absolute,” Biden said. “From the very beginning, you couldn’t own any weapon you wanted to own. From the very beginning that the Second Amendment existed, certain people weren’t allowed to have weapons. So the idea is just bizarre to suggest that some of the things we’re recommending are contrary to the Constitution.”
During his 15 minute remarks, the president called gun violence plaguing the United States an “international embarrassment” while assuring gun control advocates that he will prioritize new gun control measures while he focuses on making sure his infrastructure tax hike $2.3 trillion package is signed, seal and delivered by August.
“Let me say it again, gun violence in this country is an epidemic,” Biden said. “And it’s an international embarrassment.”
He outlined the six executive actions including new investments towards intervention programs in violence-prone communities. Biden tasked his attorney general Merrick Garland with the role of identifying “immediate concrete actions” that he could take without Congress to curb gun violence within the next 30 days. He also including prosing a rule to nationally register homemade or self-assembled makeshift known as “ghost guns,” and for its owners to also undergo background checks.
Garland said his department would make available $1 billion in grants for “evidence-based intervention strategies,” such as paying former criminals to act as “violence interrupters.” Within 60 days, Garland would need to draft a new rule in regulating concealed assault-style firearms and pistol stabilizing braces that allow the weapons to be used more accurately and aid the weapons’ accuracy and manage recoil. And the top cop is tasked with creating a national template to enact “red flag” laws, which allow judges to temporarily seize guns from individuals deemed at high risk of harming themselves or others; and a comprehensive report on firearms trafficking.
“Everything that’s being proposed today is totally consistent with the Second Amendment. And there’s a wide consensus behind the need to take action,” Biden proclaimed.