President Joe Biden has signed a new executive order dealing with gun policy and targeting specific operational areas including the background checks required before gun purchases from federally licensed dealers.
Nationwide, universal background checks aren’t required, because it seems private purchases are generally exempt, although some states have implemented stricter rules eliminating those exemptions. Biden’s new order, which was dated Tuesday, focuses on plans to expand the reach of the federal rules for background checks that are already in effect. His directive said the Attorney General, meaning Merrick Garland, must formulate an initiative to “clarify the definition of who is engaged in the business of dealing in firearms, and thus required to become Federal firearms licensees (FFLs), in order to increase compliance with the Federal background check requirement for firearm sales.” It seems reasonable to expect that a specific plan to plug any metaphorical gaps will, in fact, bring more dealers under the rules for background checks, as evidently hoped.
The plan required per Biden’s order would also “prevent former FFLs whose licenses have been revoked or surrendered from continuing to engage in the business of dealing in firearms” and provide for the public availability of inspection reports covering the operations of federally licensed dealers who violated the law in the course of their work. Elsewhere, Biden’s executive order also calls for advocacy from the federal government on behalf of specific aims like the safe storage of firearms and the “effective use of extreme risk protection orders (“red flag” laws),” which when implemented allow for temporary restrictions on certain individuals obtaining a weapon.
An organization called the Gun Violence Archive that, as its name suggests, tracks the rates of various forms of gun violence across the United States has already recorded 112 mass shootings in the country this year. The organization had recorded 48 deaths of children from birth to 11 years old as of the same juncture. Although Republicans might like to claim that gun control measures wouldn’t be reasonably expected to work, that’s just not true. A rifle that the attacker at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, used last year was legally purchased, as has been the case in other similar incidents. Different rules, including a higher minimum age for purchasing such a gun, could’ve meant the attack didn’t happen.