Joe Biden to announce measures to control weapons in the United States

Joe Biden to announce measures to control weapons in the United States

The president of United States, Joe Biden, will announce this Thursday measures to limit firearms, in particular to prevent the spread of  “ghost weapons”, impossible to trace.

The president has come under pressure from his Democratic allies to act after the recent shootings in Colorado, Georgia and California.

Biden will announce six measures to “face the health epidemic linked to gun violence,” said a White House official who requested anonymity.

In particular, it will target so-called “ghost guns,” homemade guns that can’t be traced because they don’t have serial numbers, they said.

It will also seek greater support for agencies involved in the fight against violence and will request the first global report on firearms trafficking in the United States since 2000.

However, he is not expected to announce major measures to toughen laws limiting access to weapons, such as increased background checks or ending the sale of assault rifles, often used in mass shootings.

First steps

The aforementioned official stressed that the provisions that Biden will announce together with the Secretary of Justice, Merrick Garland, are only the “first” steps.

In addition to relatively modest measures on this politically hypersensitive issue, Biden will announce the nomination of David Chipman, an advocate for gun control, to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), a central agency in the fight against armed violence.

Reflecting the lack of political unity in all things related to firearm restrictions, the ATF has not had a Senate-confirmed director since 2015.

Chipman is an agency veteran who went on to work for a gun control advocacy group and there is no one “better at enforcing gun laws,” said a senior administration official.

Biden has long vowed a heavy hand against America’s gun culture, which he says fuels an epidemic of mass shootings, as well as the daily flow of crime and suicide.

After the shootings in Georgia and Colorado, Biden called on Congress to ban assault rifles and pass laws for better background checks on gun buyers, but narrow Democratic majorities in both houses make it difficult to process initiatives on this very issue. sensitive in the United States, where the Constitution establishes the right to bear arms.

In 1994, as a senator, Biden supported a ban on assault rifles. The law expired a decade later and was never renewed, with Republicans increasingly rigid in their opposition to what they describe as an attack on constitutional law.

Former President Donald Trump, who received millions of dollars from the National Rifle Association (NRA), the powerful gun lobby, for his two election campaigns, fervently defended the right of Americans to own guns.

Last year, firearms killed more than 43,000 people in the United States, including suicides, according to the Gun Violence Archive website. The organization registered 611 “mass shootings”, defined as those that leave at least four victims, in 2020, against 417 the previous year.

So far in 2021, more than 4,000 people have died from firearms.

“Gun violence takes lives and leaves a lasting legacy of trauma within communities every day in this country,” the White House said in a statement, stating that the president is “committed to taking steps to reduce all forms of armed violence”.

Ben Oakley
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