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Tags: guns

Biden Pondering Executive Orders on Gun Violence, Alongside Congressional Actions

Biden Pondering Executive Orders on Gun Violence, Alongside Congressional Actions
First Lady Jill Biden lays flowers at a makeshift memorial outside of Robb Elementary School as she and President Joe Biden pay their respects in Uvalde, Texas on Sunday.(Getty)

Tuesday, 31 May 2022 03:39 PM EDT

President Joe Biden is looking at executive actions that he can take to combat gun violence, the White House said on Tuesday.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre did not provide details. She said Biden does not support a ban on all handguns in the aftermath of a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

This is a shift in emphasis from the White House, where in recent days, Biden has signaled he thought Congress was best positioned to take action to curb gun violence through legislation rather than executive action. 

“I can’t dictate this stuff,” Biden said Sunday according to reports, speaking to reporters as he stepped off Air Force 1 on the White House’s South Lawn after a visit to Uvalde.  Although he said then he would continue to look for executive action opportunities, he stressed that only Congress can pass legislation to make specific changes to background check requirements or outlaw specific firearms.

Biden said on Tuesday he planned to meet with lawmakers in Congress about guns after the Texas elementary school shooting last week in which 19 children and two teachers were killed.

"There is an awful lot of suffering," Biden said during a meeting with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in the Oval Office.

Biden, who visited with families of the shooting victims in Uvalde, Texas, on Sunday, said he thought he had been to more mass shooting aftermaths than any other U.S. president.

"Much of it is preventable," he said.

Ardern expressed condolences for victims of the shootings in Texas and a May 14 shooting in Buffalo that killed 10 people.

"It's been devastating to see the impact on those communities," she said. Ardern said she would be glad to share anything about the work New Zealand was doing on guns if it could be valuable. Biden called what the country was doing with technology companies "important."

After a 2019 massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which a lone gunman killed 51 Muslims, Ardern delivered a ban on semiautomatic firearms and other gun curbs, a stark contrast to the United States, where lawmakers and activists have struggled to address gun violence despite numerous mass shootings.

In the United States, U.S. lawmakers have repeatedly failed to tighten gun laws after similar massacres over the past decade.

Biden's fellow Democrats are open to new gun restrictions while Republicans have a much more expansive vision of gun rights.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, has repeatedly said in the wake of the Uvalde school shooting last week that gun regulations are not the solution. Many Republicans say solutions would need to address other contributing factors, like gaps in mental health services.

© 2022 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


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President Joe Biden is looking at executive actions that he can take to combat gun violence, the White House said on Tuesday.Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre did not provide details. She said Biden does not support a ban on all handguns in the aftermath of a school...
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2022-39-31
Tuesday, 31 May 2022 03:39 PM
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