Victims’ families from the 2018 Parkland school shooting expressed happiness on Wednesday over the Biden administration’s plans, to be signed through in executive orders on Thursday, for improved gun safety measures.
“On February 14, 2018 my daughter Jaime was murdered in the Parkland school shooting. Jaime and I have been on a journey since to save lives. [President Biden], thank you for listening. I am truly emotional at the significance of this. JAIME, WE DID IT!!!,” tweeted Fred Guttenberg within hours of the Biden administration releasing its plan for controlling gun violence.
“THIS IS HUGE AND THIS WILL SAVE LIVES!!! America, these are the boldest reforms in over 30 years,” he said.
On 14 February 2018, a gunman with an AR-15 rifle burst into the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and killed 17 people. Survivors and families from the school have been at the forefront of the US gun control debate ever since.
On Wednesday, the Biden-Harris administration said in a statement that the president is committed to taking action to reduce all forms of gun violence – community violence, mass shootings, domestic violence, and suicide by firearm – as it announced a set of six initial actions to address the “gun violence public health epidemic.”
The set of actions include the Justice Department, within 30 days, issuing a proposal for rules to help stop the proliferation of “ghost guns” – untraceable weapons without serial numbers – an annual reports on firearm trafficking, and the nomination of David Chipman as the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, a key agency for enforcing gun laws.
A statement from the White House said that the Justice Department will within 60 days issue a proposed rule “to make clear when a device marketed as a stabilising brace effectively turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act”.
It said that the department in the next 60 days will also publish model “red flag” legislation for states “which allows family members or law enforcement to petition for a court order temporarily barring people in crisis from accessing firearms if they present a danger to themselves or others.”
Kris Brown, president of Brady United, one of America’s oldest gun violence prevention groups, in a series of tweets said the White House’s actions are “not just bold, but comprehensive.”
“Just as gun violence is a multi-faceted epidemic, we need multi-faceted solutions. In order to save lives, we must tack(l)e this public health crisis from all angles,” she tweeted.
Ms Brown said: “President Biden’s executive action on gun reform comes at a solemn time, as our country heals from a spate of high-profile gun massacres. Those massacres are just part of an epidemic that wounds or kills +115,000 Americans every year.”
Giffords, the gun violence prevention organisation founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, also praised Mr Biden for the executive actions on gun violence.
“[President Biden] is fulfilling his promise and taking immediate action to prevent gun violence. This is a huge step, but we still need congressional action to ensure our long-term safety. We call on the Senate to follow the president’s lead,” tweeted Giffords.
In his statement announcing the measures, Mr Biden also reiterated his call for the US Congress to pass legislation to reduce gun violence which, unlike his executive orders, could not simply be repealed by a future president.