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Gun safety groups press Biden on executive actions, details on legislation implementation

The Hill logo The Hill 1/31/2023 Alex Gangitano
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Gun safety advocates on Tuesday called on President Biden to announce a comprehensive plan to prevent gun violence at his State of the Union address next month.

“While Congress must continue to prioritize gun violence prevention, you have the opportunity to act boldly by announcing a comprehensive plan of action to reduce gun deaths at the State of the Union on February 7, 2023,” the groups wrote in a letter to Biden.

The coalition of 117 organizations called for the plan to include declaring a national emergency around gun violence, establishing a federal office for gun violence prevention and appointing a full-time director for the effort.

Additionally, they called for executive actions like fully enforcing the ban on the importation of foreign-made assault weapons with no ‘sporting purpose’ and instructing the Federal Trade Commission to fully enforce regulations that prohibit unfair or deceptive practices related to the advertising of firearms to minors.

The groups that signed the letter included Brady, Gun Violence Prevention PAC, March for Our Lives, MomsRising and Newtown Action Network.

While they have applauded the gun safety legislation Biden signed into law this summer, they also called for a detailed implementation plan that includes ensuring that funding is directed to communities most impacted by violence, as well as training investigators to properly conduct background checks on gun buyers under age 21.

They also asked for Biden to press Congress to commit $5 billion in funding for community violence intervention programs and for Biden to communicate the scope of this crisis with the American people by developing public campaigns that focus on the risks of keeping firearms in the home.

The groups demanded more leadership overall from Biden on gun violence prevention, especially in light of the new GOP-led House.

“The growing gun violence crisis and the stated intention of the new leadership in the House of Representatives to block life-saving legislation demands a higher level of leadership from your White House. We urge you to lay out a concrete plan of action for saving lives at the State of the Union,” they wrote.

Biden, following two mass shootings in California earlier this month, has renewed his calls for Congress to ban assault weapons. But such a ban does not appear to have the votes in Congress, especially in a GOP-led House.

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