US: Biden mulls stricter gun-control policy; background checks, safety must
The United States (US) President Joe Biden is mulling bringing a more "proactive and strict gun-control policy" to the country, which has been marred by mass shootings and violence involving firearms, Reuters reported. Biden is expected to sign an executive order on Tuesday that reinforces gun buyers' background checks and increases safety for handling and storing firearms "without additional legislation," the White House said.
Why does this story matter?
- The US is infamous for its lax gun control laws, with several states requiring no license, which allegedly leads to frequent shooting incidents.
- As of March 1, at least 96 mass shootings had been reported, per the Gun Violence Archive (GVA).
- The GVA defines a mass shooting as an incident in which at least four people, barring the attacker, are shot dead.
Biden to unveil plans at California's Monterey Park
Biden will likely announce his recent initiatives to reduce gun violence in Monterey Park, California, where he will visit victims of gun violence, the Associated Press reported. He will also reportedly sign an executive order strengthening red flag legislation, which has been approved by 19 US states and the District of Columbia to prohibit the sale of firearms to anyone deemed dangerous.
President Biden's executive order to cover these aspects
Notably, the Biden administration recently completed mass public opinion polls on the issue of gun violence, the results of which revealed that a majority of Americans support background checks for buyers. Other sections of Biden's order, according to senior officials, would encourage gun safe storage and request that the Federal Trade Commission investigate how gun manufacturers advertise firearms, particularly to minors.
Policy in the offing for victims, mass shooting survivors
According to Forbes, Biden plans to prepare a policy to help communities affected by mass shootings and gun violence, including mental health treatment, financial aid, and food. The order will also likely require the Attorney General to work with Congress to make it more difficult to manufacture rifles that can avoid metal detectors under the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988.
US reports about 40,000 deaths by firearms annually
Every year, about 40,000 deaths are caused by firearms in the US. Gun-related deaths from preventable, intentional, and unknown causes totaled 48,830 in 2021, up 8% from 45,222 in 2020. In June 2022, the US Senate passed a gun violence bill making buyers' background checks must and helping states put red flag laws.