By ZEKE MILLER and COLLEEN LONG (Associated Press)
MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (AP) — The grief continues to be suffocating, the anger nonetheless visceral, President Joe Biden mentioned Tuesday, on this suburban Los Angeles neighborhood the place a gunman stormed a dance corridor and killed 11 in January. He introduced contemporary federal measures to curb gun violence however emotionally declared there have to be extra.
“Do something. Do something big,” he implored.
“I’m determined to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines,” Biden informed the households of a few of the victims who have been within the viewers for his remarks, together with the 26-year-old who wrestled the semiautomatic pistol away from the gunman.
Biden’s rhetoric has grown ever stronger about weapons — he routinely requires banning assault weapons — in pushing a gun-control platform even harder than in the course of the Obama administration when he was vp. He has been emboldened by the midterm elections when his common discuss of gun management didn’t lead to huge Democratic losses, and he’s anticipated to proceed to argue for sturdy adjustments as he strikes towards a 2024 reelection run, his aides say.
“We remember and mourn today,” Biden mentioned in Monterey Park. “But I’m here with you today to act.”
The president informed the gang he’d signed an govt order aimed toward stiffening background checks to purchase weapons, selling safer firearms storage and guaranteeing legislation enforcement businesses get extra out of a bipartisan gun management legislation enacted final summer time.
But Biden has solely restricted energy to transcend that laws that was handed after the killings of 10 buyers at a Buffalo, New York, grocery retailer and 19 college students and two lecturers at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary faculty.
His motion on Tuesday doesn’t change authorities coverage. Rather, it directs federal businesses to make sure compliance with present legal guidelines and procedures — a typical function of govt orders issued by presidents after they confront the bounds of their very own energy to behave with out cooperation from Congress.
“Let’s be clear, none of this absolves Congress from the responsibility of acting to pass universal background checks, to eliminate gun manufacturers immunity to liability,” Biden mentioned.
Using emotion to press Congress to behave, he detailied the lives of Monterey Park victims: A dancehall supervisor who walked patrons to their vehicles after classes. An adventurer prepared for the following journey overseas. A loyal grandparent.
Biden, whose personal familiarity with grief is well-known — his small daughter and spouse have been killed in a automobile crash within the Seventies and later his grownup son died of most cancers — touched on the on a regular basis issues he mentioned damage a lot after the preliminary shock is gone; the best way a closet nonetheless smells like a beloved one, the sound of amusing, the bend of a smile.
The victims in Monterey Park, the place 20 have been shot after Lunar New Year celebrations, have been older Asian Americans, largely of their 60s and 70s. Biden mentioned they represented a robust imaginative and prescient of America: “Our diversity is the strength of this nation.”
His order on Tuesday directs the Cabinet to finish a plan to higher construction the federal government to help communities affected by gun violence. If the Federal Emergency Management Agency can reply to pure disasters to offer on-the-ground help, the federal government ought to be capable of do the identical for a mass capturing, he mentioned. More psychological well being help for grief and trauma, monetary help for victims and for companies compelled to shut throughout a prolonged police investigations.
He is directing Attorney General Merrick Garland to shore up guidelines for federally licensed gun sellers so that they know they’re required to do background checks as a part of their licenses.
He can be mandating higher reporting of ballistics information from federal legislation enforcement for a clearinghouse that permits federal, state and native legislation enforcement to match shell casings to weapons. But native and state legislation enforcement businesses will not be required to report ballistics information, and many don’t, making the clearinghouse much less efficient.
And the president is asking the Federal Trade Commission to situation a public report analyzing how gun producers market to minors and use navy pictures to market to most of the people.
“President Biden’s executive order today is a home run for public safety,” mentioned John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “This is the latest example of President Biden’s leadership on gun safety, and we’re proud to stand with him as he takes robust action to help close the gun-seller loophole — which will significantly expand background checks on gun sales, keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous people and save lives.”
The invoice handed final 12 months, generally known as the Safer Communities Act, is seen by gun management advocates as a very good begin however one which doesn’t go far sufficient. After the legislation was signed, there have been 11 different mass shootings, in accordance with a database of mass killings since 2006 maintained by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University. Those killings don’t embody shootings wherein fewer than 4 individuals have been killed — and gun violence can be rising nationwide.
Pro-gun teams mentioned the order would do little to cease rising gun violence.
“The reality is that nothing in the president’s executive order today would have done anything to prevent the recent mass shootings in California, Michigan or elsewhere,” mentioned Katie Pointer Baney who’s the Managing Director of Government Affairs for the U.S. Concealed Carry Association. “It’s time for the president and political leaders across the country to have an honest conversation with the American people and acknowledge there is no legislative fix that will permanently solve the issue of gun violence.”
Biden mentioned he’d direct his Cabinet to verify legislation enforcement businesses and residents, too, perceive the advantages of red-flag legal guidelines, that are supposed to quickly take away weapons from individuals with doubtlessly violent conduct and forestall them from hurting themselves or others.
“So more parents, teachers and counselors know how to flag for the court that someone is exhibiting violent tendencies, or experiencing suicidal thoughts that make them a danger to themselves and others,” he mentioned.
Last month, the Justice Department despatched out greater than $200 million to assist states and the District of Columbia administer red-flag legal guidelines and different crisis-intervention applications.
Long reported from Washington. Associated Press author Lindsay Whitehurst contributed to this report.