On Tuesday, the White House announced that President Joe Biden is set to sign an executive order that would expand background checks to more firearm sales by expanding the statutory definition of a firearms dealer. The order is part of Biden’s efforts to reduce gun violence in the country, however, many feel that he is targeting legal gun-owning American citizens, and not getting at the root cause of the country’s issue with crime.
The executive order aims to bring the U.S. “as close to universal background checks as possible” without additional legislation.
The order also directs the attorney general to develop and implement a plan to prevent former federally licensed firearms dealers, whose licenses have been revoked or surrendered, from continuing to engage in the business of dealing in firearms. In addition, it will improve public awareness and increase the use of extreme protection, like “red flag” laws and safe storage of firearms.
Furthermore, the order will hold the gun industry “accountable” by providing the public and policymakers with “more information regarding federally licensed firearms dealers who are violating the law.” It directs the attorney general to publicly release ATF records from the inspection of firearms dealers cited for violation of federal firearm laws. The order also requires the Department of Defense to develop and implement principles to further firearm and public safety practices through DOD acquisition of firearms.
The order also seeks to catch shooters by accelerating federal law enforcement’s reporting of ballistics data. Under the order, all federal law enforcement agencies will be directed to issue “rigorous requirements regarding NIBIN data submission and use of this tool.” Moreover, Biden’s order would help advance congressional efforts to prevent the proliferation of firearms undetectable by metal detectors.
The president is also expected to encourage the Federal Trade Commission to issue a public report analyzing how gun manufacturers market firearms to minors. The order will accelerate and intensify the implementation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act; improve federal support for gun violence survivors, victims, and survivors’ families, first responders to gun violence, and communities affected by gun violence. A senior administration official said that Biden will continue to call on Congress to ban “assault weapons” and “high-capacity magazines.”