The US President Joe Biden announced Wednesday new measures to combat gun violence in the face of rising crime, which his Republican counterparts have been focusing on for weeks.
Major American cities are experiencing alarming increases in shootings, murders, and armed robberies. The White House has revealed its strategy for combating violent crime, including efforts to reverse “an epidemic” of gun violence in the country.
Biden would announce additional details of the strategy in a televised speech following a meeting between civil and law enforcement officials.
As a justification for tighter gun laws, the president will likely point to the fact that his administration has already acknowledged a spike in violent crime — homicides during the first quarter 2021 were up 24% over the same period last.
The plan addresses five key elements, including the need “to stem the flow of firearms used for violence.”
It allows state and local authorities to use unutilized Covid-19 recovery funds for police officers, equipment upgrades, and increased prosecutions of gun traffickers.
Biden announced that the administration will collaborate with 15 cities who have committed to using some pandemic funding, including Los Angeles and Baltimore. This is in anticipation of possible spikes in violent crime during the summer months.
For years, many Democrats have fought for tougher gun control laws. Since the 2012 massacre at a Connecticut elementary school that left 26 dead, the attempts have failed repeatedly. Republicans frequently reacted against such legislation.
Two bills were passed by the House of Representatives in March. They are aimed at improving background checks and closing an exemption related to the Charleston church shooting of 2015 that killed 58 people.
They are not likely to be passed by the Senate. Democrats would need at most 10 Republicans to vote for them in order to get the 60 votes needed to move the legislation forward.
– “Numbers don’t lie” –
Republicans are keen to make violent crime a campaign issue next year as they attempt to win back the House of Representatives and Senate. They highlight how crime has risen in Biden’s America.
“Numbers don’t lie. “This is their crime crisis,” Elise Stefanik, number three House Republican, tweeted Wednesday. She also said that Biden policies had contributed to a 64% increase in New York City shootings this year in comparison to last year.
Richard Hudson, Congressman, repeated a theme that conservatives have taken to heart: That progressive calls to defund police have resulted in a “dangerous increase” in crime.
Hudson tweeted, “President Biden’s Answer: Put forth even more gun control measures today which only harm law-abiding residents.” “We need to support our police officers and stop this #BidenCrimeCrisis, not gun control.”
Biden signed six executive orders in April after Congress failed to agree to broad gun regulations.
He quickly nominated David Chipman, a former law enforcement officer and gun control advocate, to become the next head of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The Bureau has not had a Senate confirmed director since 2015.