US President Joe Biden has announced a new executive order aimed at increasing the number of background checks conducted before firearm sales. The order, which does not require the approval of Congress, aims to bring the US “as close to universal background checks as possible” without the need for additional legislation.
The executive order recognizes the political reality surrounding the issue and lays out a series of actions that can be taken within the President’s authority. The expansion of background checks is the first step in this process.
Universal background checks, which require a buyer’s information to be run through an FBI database before a sale is made, are seen as a key way to close legal loopholes that allow prohibited purchases. They are also supported by a broad majority of the American public. However, legislation requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales has stalled in the Senate, with some Democrats even opposing it.
The new order aims to crack down on gun sellers who break the law and operate outside of the existing background check system. President Biden will sign the measure during a visit to Monterey Park, California, where a gunman killed 11 people in January.
The president’s announcement of new gun control measures has been met with a mix of reactions. Supporters of the measures see them as a step in the right direction towards making communities safer, while opponents argue that they infringe on the rights of gun owners and do not address the root causes of gun violence. Regardless of one’s position on the issue, the president’s announcement is a clear indication that the issue of gun control remains a top priority for the Biden administration.
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