Gun control advocates are calling on President Joe Biden to use executive orders to increase regulation of assault-style weapons in hopes of avoiding Republican opposition in Congress, The Hill reports.
Although Biden and congressional Democrats have unveiled a wide-ranging funding package that includes about $5 billion for community programs to prevent violence, many gun control advocates are urging the White House to consider issuing executive orders to increase regulation following multiple deadly mass shootings in the past three weeks.
More than 100 House Democrats signed a letter addressed to Biden on Saturday calling on him to issue an executive order increasing regulations on concealed assault-style rifles like the one used in the recent mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado.
"The House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force calls on you to take strong executive action to address serious inequities in the implementation of the National Firearms Act which is the federal law regulating the manufacture, transfer, and possession of certain classes of firearms," they wrote. "For too long, gun manufacturers in order to circumvent the National Firearms Act have designed and marketed concealable AR-15 style firearms which fire rifle rounds."
Although the House passed two bills that expand background checks last month, Senate Republicans could use the filibuster to prevent their passing, leaving the infrastructure plan as Democrats’ best bet.
"The extraordinary investment proposed by the Biden-Harris administration would save countless lives in communities that are most affected by gun violence," John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, told the Hill. "To meaningfully reduce gun violence, we have to both close the loopholes in our gun laws and invest in proven solutions. Congress should move quickly on both tracks to deliver the results the public deserves."
Christian Heyne, vice president of policy for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said that the plan is "really practical and pragmatic" and "has the potential to pass and to be historic," noting that "these community-based solutions are part of any comprehensive solution to gun violence that should be taking place.”
Last Friday, about 70 Democrats signed a letter written by Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., and Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., calling on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to schedule votes on the two House bills.
"We worked to gain and maintain majorities in the Senate and the House so that we could bring consequential, life-saving legislation to a vote. The American people expect action, and the Senate must act. The American people deserve to know where their Senators stand," they wrote.
"In the 22 days since the House passed these common-sense gun violence prevention measures, Americans of all ages across the country have lost their lives to gun violence, and their families, friends, and communities have had their lives forever shattered," they added.
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