With congressional legislation blocked by Republican opposition, the president ordered a crackdown on “phantom weapons” and declared the shooting epidemic to be “an international embarrassment”

WASHINGTON – President Biden, calling gun violence in the United States “international embarrassment,” on Thursday took a series of initial steps to tackle the problem, starting with a crackdown on the proliferation of so-called phantom weapons , or firearms assembled from kits

Recognizing that more aggressive actions such as banning assault weapons, removing background checks and removing gun manufacturers from liability immunity should await action Congress, he said it was nonetheless vital to do what he could on his own to deal with what he called an epidemic of shootings killing around 100 Americans a day

“We have a long way to go – it seems like we still have a long way to go,” M Biden said during an appearance at the rose garden weeks after two mass shootings in Georgia and Colorado left 18 people dead and put the administration under intense pressure from the left to act

Although the measures announced by the president fall far short of sweeping legislative changes long sought by supporters to make it more difficult to purchase firearms, especially the semi-automatic weapons often used in shootings mass, they addressed more narrow issues of equal concern to many Democrats and supporters of gun regulation

The most important of the steps was to ask the Justice Department to curb the spread of phantom weapons Kits for these guns can be purchased without background checks and allow a gun to be assembled from parts without a serial number

Mr Biden said he wanted the ministry to issue regulations within a month to require kit components to have serial numbers that would allow them to be traced and weapons to be legally classified as firearms, with buyers subject to background checks

“I want to see these kits treated as firearms under the gun control law,” the president said

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives estimated 10,000 phantom weapons were recovered by law enforcement in 2019 Cities like Philadelphia, Baltimore and San Diego have seen a significant increase in the number of such weapons recovered each year since then

Ghost guns, experts say, have become particularly attractive to criminal organizations and right-wing extremists who want access to untraceable guns that do not require background checks They are often linked to shootings in states like California which have instituted strict gun laws

The focus on phantom weapons has also underscored the White House’s intention to tackle gun violence at large and not just the mass shootings which are the subject of widespread media coverage.

“Ghost guns disproportionately impact gun violence in communities of color and undermine states with strong gun laws,” said Christian Heyne, vice president of policy at Brady: United Against Gun Violence, a prominent supporter of tougher gun laws

Ghost guns were also used in some mass shootings, including one in 2013 at Santa Monica College, California, in which five people were killed; one in 2017 in northern California, in which a gunman killed his wife and four others; and one in 2019 at a high school in California, in which a 16-year-old killed two students and injured three others

Even a modest step like dealing with the issue of phantom guns, which have been around for years, shows just how crippled the policy surrounding gun control has become

Despite the National Rifle Association’s financial woes, the group’s lobbying presence remains formidable and the gun movement’s grip on the Republican Party is unwavering Action on key gun issues – verification of universal track record and ban on assault weapons, for example – remains stuck due to narrow partisan divide in Senate and requirement of 60 votes imposed by filibuster

In many Republican-led states, gun rights advocates have the upper hand Gov Bill Lee of Tennessee, a Republican, on Thursday enacted a law allowing most adults in the state to wear a handgun, concealed or openly, without a license, background check or training

Given the Republican opposition wall, supporters of more restrictive gun laws and regulations applauded even the modest initiatives Biden announced Thursday, highlighting how their ambitions have been circumscribed by political realities

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“President Biden has operated on the strongest gun security platform in history, and today he has proven he is going to rule like her,” said John Feinblatt, President of Everytown for Gun Safety

Other gun control supporters, however, have taken on Mr. Biden last month, after telling a press conference that the key to legislative success was prioritizing, and infrastructure – not guns – was next on his list

[GUN CLICKS] This is a gun that I made myself The government doesn’t know I have it, but it’s totally legal You can buy a kit online with all the parts you want. need to build a Glock 19 You don’t need a 3D printer or fancy tools, and you don’t need a background check I bought the Glock 19 during Glocktober, so I got $ 100 off People call these ghost guns And they’re more and more popular, especially for people who want a gun, but don’t want a record stating it exists I would like to see how it’s easy to craft any of these guns and find out what these kits mean for the future of gun regulation The order is confirmed It only remains to build it I don’t have a handgun license in NYC, so I sent the kit to Virginia, where you don’t need it Let’s make a weapon to fire I get the call to make a gun I like to build stuff And for a lot of people who buy these kits this is the point They are fun to do “Hi guys Today we go to you explain how to build your Full Conceal Polymer80 frame So it’s actually quite quick to do it “” Some sort of numbered paint in one direction “The receiver or lower frame is the only part of the weapon that is technically considered a gun under US law Gun kits are not regulated like guns because they come with unfinished lower receivers “So this is the lower receiver, and it’s in this jig So we have to remove the extra pieces that protrude from the jig “[SNAPPING] Yeah, instead of doing shopping I took early childhood development It was actually really awesome The finished bottom receiver is almost the same as the unfinished one You just need to drill a few holes and remove those extra pieces of polymer Then you assemble and add the rest of the parts If you do it right you will have a working gun On a factory made gun the serial number would go here But the gun I’m building won’t have one so it doesn’t there’s no way to trace it Gun kits aren’t regulated at all in most states There’s no record of sales And for a lot of people, that’s the “Hey” attraction “Hey” “Andy Lander” “Jeremy White” Andy Lander is a firearms expert who has worked for NRUNE for 13 years He has built guns before “We are still technically a free country And I think one of the greatest freedoms is to have privacy For me, if you have a phantom 100 guns, none of my business “It is impossible to say how many phantom weapons exist or to whom they belong Last year, nearly a third of all firearms seized by the forces of the order in California were homemade without serial number Still, Andy says kits aren’t the problem “A criminal is going to steal a gun He’s either going to steal someone and get a gun He’s going to have a gun anyway I’m not worried about a guy who builds a Glock 19 in his garage “” Nah Drop it from the top “” Drop it “” Down “” Oh, that must be all the way – “” You have to erase that, yeah Push up what it appears Yeah that’s it “[GUN CLICKS]” There you go You’re done “” Wow Thanks for your help “[GUN CLICKS] It took me about six hours to make my ghost gun [GUN CLICKS ] If I had to do it again I could do it a lot faster Yet there is no guarantee it will work “Scot Thomasson” “Jeremy White” “Nice to meet you” “Nice to meet you” “How are you?” ” Good “” Good It’s the same fucking gun “” It’s true “” The difference is right there, serial number And that’s important “Scot Thomasson is a retired ATF agent He lets me try r my new gun on his property “Looks OK Looks like it won’t make anyone’s hand explode, so that’s a good thing” “Let’s go test it” [GUN CLICKS] [GUN FIRES] “Hit” [GUN FIRES] “Hit” [GUN FIRES] “OK” “It’s a gun that works” “Yeah, sure. Look, I’ve worked in violent crime my entire career for 26 years You want these agents have every means possible to bring to justice those who use this gun to commit acts of violence And without a serial number on this gun, you can’t do that “” So if these kits had a number of series and were sold through authorized resellers, do you see a problem? “” No problem at all So what? ” “Right now, we really don’t know what we don’t know, because these guns are totally nowhere to be found.” Jennifer Wexton is a representative for Virginia’s 10th District and co-sponsor of two bills that would expand the definition of firearms to include mounting kits so you can’t buy them without the government knowing “Normally the serial number would be here” “No And look, there is nothing there” “There is nothing there” ” Yes, that’s part of the allure of those kind of ghost guns, by the way So when they’re caught in crime scenes and stuff like that, we know they’re out there and we see it more and more. more “” What do you say to the second amendment advocate who says these laws are an invasion of my privacy when it comes to gun ownership? “” I think the guns should be traceable So I think that by weighing the interest of not having a serial number on your firearm against overall public safety, I am on the public safety side “Ultimately the government finds my phantom weapon Without a license handgun I can’t bring this gun back to NYC so I turn it over to the local police They interrogate me, check background and file a police report It’s a lot more screening than I’ve been through to get the gun in the first place For most people, it’s not the easiest way to get a gun out. fire It takes time and skill Some people may like this challenge Most people just prefer to buy one from a gun store or authorized dealer But if you’re a criminal, or a minor, or can’t legally buy a gun for some other reason, these kits make it remarkably easy to get a gun anyway.

The president on Thursday described several other actions he was taking on his own. He said he would demand that when a device known as a stabilizer orthosis effectively transforms a pistol into a short-barreled rifle, this weapon is subject to the requirements of the national firearms law This would subject these guns to additional levels of regulation necessary for owning more serious firearms or silencers, including fingerprints, background checks, and regular license renewal.

The shooter in the Boulder, Colo, firing last month used a pistol with an arm splint, which makes it more stable and accurate, the president said

Mr Biden said the Justice Department will also issue model ‘red flag’ legislation for states The measure would allow police officers and family members to ask a court to temporarily remove firearms from people likely to present a danger to themselves or to others

Although the president cannot pass national red flag legislation without Congress, officials said the goal of the guidelines was to make it easier for states wishing to pass it to do so now.

“Red flag laws can stop mass shooters before they can carry out their violent plans,” Mr. Biden said, noting that he wanted to see a national red flag law

Currently 19 states and Washington, DC have passed their own red flag laws, and while Alaska and Wisconsin plan to adopt their own measures, it’s unclear how many more states would be interested in do so – or would find the model legislation useful

“The calculations are more complicated from here because many states already have them”, M Heyne said “We are now starting to delve into another group of states that don’t even pass background checks”

Analysts said the model legislation would be more likely to be used for a state like Connecticut, a leader in gun safety legislation, to update its current laws, rather than for a more conservative state like Wyoming to adopt new measures

Apart from mass shootings, gun violence remains the leading cause of death among black men aged 15 to 34, M Biden said in his remarks, noting that the additional funding he had proposed for community violence programs can save lives

“Gun violence in our neighborhood has a profound impact on our children, even though they are never involved in pulling the trigger or being the victim on the other side”, a- he declared

Mr Biden also announced that the ATF – the besieged firearms law enforcement agency – will undertake a new study on criminal gun trafficking, which it has failed to do. since 2000 The study will take into account that modern weapons can be made of plastic, printed on a 3D printer or sold in assembly kits

The president appointed David Chipman, a proponent of stricter gun rules, to head the agency, which has not had a permanent director since 2015

Mr Chipman, an adviser to the gun control organization founded by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, is a former ATF agent Ms Giffords left Congress after being shot in the head during of a mass shooting in 2011 in Tucson, Arizona

While M Chipman’s selection came as good news for gun control groups as he faces a potentially difficult confirmation fight in the Senate

Republicans have effectively hampered the ATF for decades, often at the behest of the National Rifle Association, which preferred to keep the agency in a weakened state Then RUNE succeeded in pressuring Republicans to have the agency banned to transfer the enforcement authority to the FBje or the secret services and to include limits on unannounced inspections of arms dealers or the digitization of its files

In 2006, lawmakers allied with the National Rifle Association passed a provision making the position of ATF administrator subject to Senate confirmation. As a result, only one director, B Todd Jones, who was appointed by President Barack Obama , has been confirmed over the past 15 years

The initiatives presented Thursday by M Biden shows just how harder it has become for Democrats to advance their gun agenda since he served in the Senate in 1993, Mr. Biden was instrumental in passing the landmark Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which was named in honor of former White House press secretary James S Brady, who was shot dead during an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan A year later, Mr. Biden helped clear 10-year ban on assault weapons

As vice president, he said the worst day in the Obama White House was in 2013, when the Senate rejected the administration’s proposal to extend background checks after the shooting in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn, which killed 26 people, including 20 children

Mr Biden on Thursday admitted that there is not much he could do without Congress “This is just the start”, he said “We have a lot of work to do”, a- he added, calling armed violence a “stain on our character as a nation”

The House passed two gun control bills last month, but they are languishing in the Senate at the 60-vote threshold in the House for passage of most laws, which requires the support of at least 10 Republicans

“They offered a lot of thoughts and prayers, members of Congress, but they did not pass a single federal law to reduce gun violence,” Mr. Biden said “Enough prayers It’s time to act”

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Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/08/us/politics/biden-gun-control.html