Advocacy Groups Push Biden to Prioritize Gun Control

Advocacy Groups Push Biden to Prioritize Gun Control

( – Joe Biden campaigned for office on a promise to end gun violence in America. Seven months into his presidency, gun control activists are urging the president to establish a new office to address the issue.

On August 25, four leading gun-control groups sent a letter to Biden reminding him of his campaign promise. As they wrote, Biden ran on one of the country’s “strongest gun violence prevention platforms” in history. However, the steps to reduce gun violence have fallen “significantly short” of his vow.

After detailing a litany of complaints about Biden’s broken campaign promises, the group finally got to the point. They asked him to create an Office of Gun Violence Prevention to streamline the administration’s to:

  • Develop a long-term plan to reduce gun deaths;
  • Reduce gun violence; and
  • Recognize gun violence as a national health issue, a national security crisis, and a national priority.

To accomplish that goal, they asked for him to fulfill his March 2020 promise to appoint a “point-person” to spearhead his “gun violence prevention agenda.”

Guns Down America, March For Our Lives, Newtown Action Alliance, and Survivors Empowered signed the letter.

Biden’s Point-Person Promise

On March 2, 2020, former Texas representative and failed US Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke endorsed Biden’s White House bid during a Dallas campaign rally. O’Rourke said he would cast his ballot for Biden the following day, Super Tuesday.

Moments later, Biden retook the stage and vowed to name O’Rourke to serve as his point-person on gun control. “I want to make something clear,” he began. “I’m going to guarantee” that this won’t be the last time you see O’Rourke.

“You are going to take care of the gun problem with me,” Biden said, turning to face O’Rourke. “You are going to be the one who leads this effort.” Concluding his remarks, Biden said, “I’m counting on you… the country needs you.”

Biden’s Anti-Gun Agenda So Far

Biden has taken a few small steps towards limiting gun rights. For instance, on April 7, 2021, he announced “six initial actions” to address what he called the “gun violence public health epidemic.” Then, on June 23, he followed up with a press conference with Attorney General Merrick Garland, during which the pair announced their new gun crime prevention strategy.

For the most part, the two men spoke in broad terms. For instance, Biden said they were building the administration’s strategy around four main principles:

  1. Building trust and earning trust at the community level;
  2. Creating community-based intervention and prevention programs;
  3. Establishing strategic gun control enforcement priorities;
  4. Monitoring the plan’s success by observing violent crime statistics.

With the Senate deadlocked 50/50, there’s little chance Biden can push through any meaningful gun measures at this time. However, he could establish some new administrative norms if he set up an Office of Gun Violence Prevention.

Will Biden cave and try to pass more measures to push gun control?

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