Story by Alexi McCammond

President Biden is signing a gun control executive order on Tuesday that the administration says will get the country “as close to universal background checks as possible without additional legislation.”

Why it matters: It builds on the bipartisan legislation Biden signed into law last June, but requires the attorney general to get involved through a wonky process of redefining which firearms dealers are required to run background checks.

  • The order relies on encouraging more accountability and safer practices by gun owners and dealers through public information campaigns and databases.
  • “We need universal background checks legislation to finish the job,” said a senior administration official.

The details: Biden will sign the executive order while visiting Monterey Park, California, where a mass shooting in January killed 11 and injured nine others.

Between the lines: As the president gears up for re-election, this executive order will be another action he can sell to voters as a way he’s tried to deliver when Congress couldn’t pass federal legislation to require universal background checks.

The backdrop: Last year’s bipartisan gun safety legislation enhanced background checks for those under 21, but even President Biden said at the time of signing it that “this bill doesn’t do everything that I want.”

  • Gun violence was a key issue that drove young voters to the polls in the 2022 midterms, ultimately helping Democratic candidates up and down the ticket.
  • Voters are still indicating that they want Congress to address gun violence and mass shootings, according to a Brookings report.

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The bottom line: Gun safety leaders have wanted to see this move from the president, recognizing executive action is their best shot at moving closer to reform before the 2024 election — and ahead of a potential shift in power in Washington.

  • John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, called Biden’s move a “home run for public safety” in a statement and said “we’re proud to stand with him as he takes robust action to help close the gun seller loophole.”

By don

One thought on “Biden takes executive action on background checks for guns”
  1. I don’t even know where to begin on how much this President has no respect for his office, the Constitution or the American people. From his first day in office, he has systematically done everything he can to destroy America. This is just the latest assault on our Constitution. This executive overreach will not go unchallenged and be struck down. Don’t the progressives in his administration realize that the President does not have the power to infringe on our rights?

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