Biden expected to sign new executive order on gun control

President Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order Tuesday that will increase the number of background checks needed to purchase guns.

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Biden at the time will be visiting Monterey Park, California, where a gunman killed 11 people in January.

According to the White House, the order aims to move the US “as close to universal background checks as possible without additional legislation”.

According to the BBC, Biden will direct Attorney General Merrick Garland to clarify the statutory definition of who is “engaged in the business” of dealing in firearms, to devise a plan that prevents firearms dealers whose licenses were revoked from continuing to sell and to name and shame firearms dealers who are breaking the law.

The order will also ask the Federal Trade Commission to issue a report on how gun manufacturers target civilians, especially minors.

“Too many lives have been taken by gun violence,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Monday. “But he believes we need to do more. You’ll hear him call on Congress to take action and not to stop ... that we need to continue.”

Democrats must have 60 votes to overcome a Republican filibuster on gun legislation in the Senate, something Biden and other Democrats say will be tough to get.

As for the House, Speaker Kevin McCarthy has suggested that on issues such as a ban on assault weapons, he would not bring up such a measure for a vote in the House.

Following the shootings in Monterey Park, McCarthy told reporters he was not inclined to take up any new gun laws, explaining that California has some of the most stringent gun laws in the country.

The National Instant Background Check System carried out more than 31 million background checks in 2022 on people looking to own firearms or explosives, according to the FBI.

The White House says the order will also raise awareness over “red flag” laws, or laws that prevent individuals who show signs of being a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing any kind of firearm.

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have red flag laws.

“President Biden’s executive order today is a home run for public safety,” said 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.”

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