Biden to Announce Executive Order Increasing Background Checks, Ramping Up Use of Red Flag Laws
Biden will announce Tuesday an executive order to increase background checks for gun sales, and to strengthen implementation of laws that allow courts to seize firearms from dangerous individuals.
According to the White House, the executive order, which will be issued in Monterey Park (Calif.) near the scene of a recent mass shooting, will direct Attorney General Merrick Galrland to ensure that gun sellers who don’t realize they must run background checks under existing laws, or are willfully violating existing laws, comply with the background check requirement.
The Biden administration has admitted that it wants to see the U.S. adopt universal background checks as soon as possible without going through the usual legislative process.
Although there are many high-profile shootings that have prompted calls for background checks, critics have pointed out how enhanced background checks could not have prevented inciting events in many cases. The 18-year old shooter who shot 19 school students and three adults at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, had no criminal records that would have been visible on background checks. The firearms that he used in the massacre were legally purchased by him.
Red flag laws are used to prevent individuals posing a danger to themselves or others from purchasing a firearm. This order will increase the use of red flag laws. Biden will direct his Cabinet members to encourage the effective use of extreme-risk protection orders, such as by partnering law enforcement, health providers, educators and other community leaders.
Federal campaigns that promote safe firearm storage will be expanded.
A gunman opened fire on a Monterey Park dance studio late at night following a Lunar New Year Festival. He killed 11 people and injured nine others. According to reports, the perpetrator used a Cobray M11 9mm semiautomatic weapon. This weapon is illegal in California.
Prominent Democrats saw the tragedy as an opportunity for them to demand that assault weapons be banned.
“Almost all mass shootings involve assault weapons. This is the common thread in the constant stream of mass shootings. These weapons were created to kill as many people quickly as possible. It is time to stand up against the gun lobby, and remove these weapons from our streets or at least keep them away from the hands of young children,” Senator Feinstein stated shortly thereafter.