US President Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order on Tuesday aimed at expanding background checks and increasing gun safety measures as America continues to face mass shootings and widespread incidents of gun violence.
A White House official told Associated Press that Biden, a Democratic president, plans to unveil his latest efforts at curbing gun violence in a speech in Monterey Park, California on Tuesday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.
Biden’s rhetoric has increasingly grown stronger around guns and he is expected to continue to push for strong changes as he inches toward a 2024 presidential run, his aides say.
But Biden’s power is limited to go beyond bipartisan legislation passed by Congress last summer, the most sweeping gun violence bill in decades, which came after the killings last year of 10 shoppers at a Buffalo, New York, grocery store and 19 students and two teachers at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school.
“Too many lives have been taken by gun violence,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “But he [Biden] believes we need to do more. You’ll hear him call on Congress to take action and not to stop … that we need to continue.”
According to Forbes Magazine, the planned order also directs the attorney general to develop a plan to prevent firearms dealers whose federal licenses have been revoked from continuing to sell guns, and directs the Department of Justice to work with the Secretary of Transportation to reduce the number of firearms that are lost or stolen during shipping.
A number of other measures are also being planned.
The US has seen a steady increase in the number of mass shootings over the past few years and already this year, 110 have taken place in the country.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, the US passed the 100 mass shooting mark in early March.
Biden is also mandating better reporting of ballistics data from federal law enforcement for a clearinghouse that allows federal, state and local law enforcement to match shell casings to guns. But local and state law enforcement agencies are not required to report ballistics data, and many do not, making the clearinghouse less effective, AP reported.
However a recent Pew Research poll found 63 percent of Americans still want Congress to do more on gun control in light of the continued wave of mass shootings.
Many say that while Biden’s measures Tuesday will aid progress, only Congress can impose sweeping measures that gun control advocates have pushed for — such as an assault weapons ban, bans on high-capacity magazines and truly universal background checks, Forbes reported.