Joe Biden has issued an executive order in an effort to tighten restrictions on firearms.
The order includes measures to strengthen background checks for gun purchases, increase accountability for “rogue” gun dealers, bolster storage of firearms, and improve support for survivors of gun violence.
In the White House’s policy statement, Biden noted that the U.S. experiences mass shootings and daily acts of gun violence.
The executive order builds on the ‘Bipartisan Safer Communities Act,’ which the president signed into law last year.
The act provides communities with new tools to combat gun violence, including enhanced background checks for individuals under age 21, funding for extreme risk protection orders, and increased mental health resources to help children impacted by gun violence heal from the resulting grief and trauma.
The order directs various federal agencies to take specific actions. For example, the Attorney General is directed to develop a plan to clarify the definition of who is engaged in the business of dealing in firearms and thus required to become federal firearms licensees.
The Attorney General is also directed to publicly release inspection reports of gun dealers cited for violations of the law.
The order also directs the Secretaries of Defense, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Education, and Veterans Affairs to expand existing federal campaigns and other efforts to promote safe storage of firearms.
The order further directs these agencies to undertake efforts to encourage effective use of extreme risk protection orders, partnering with law enforcement, health care providers, educators, and other community leaders.
The Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security, is directed to develop and implement principles to further firearm and public safety practices through the Department of Defense’s acquisition of firearms, consistent with applicable law.
The heads of federal law enforcement agencies are directed to ensure that their respective law enforcement components issue National Integrated Ballistic Information Network submission and utilization policies with requirements that are equivalent to, or exceed, the requirements of the policy issued by the Department of Justice on December 12, 2022.
The executive order also encourages the Federal Trade Commission to issue a public report analyzing how gun manufacturers market firearms to minors and how such manufacturers market firearms to civilians, including through the use of military imagery.
The executive order is expected to face opposition from gun rights advocates and members of Congress.