WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Monday hailed a latest bipartisan law meant to scale back gun violence as “real progress,” but said “more must be done” after just 16 days in effect, that laws already has been overshadowed by yet one more mass shooting.
The bill, passed after recent gun rampages in Buffalo, Latest York, and Uvalde, Texas, incrementally toughens requirements for young people to purchase guns, denies firearms to more domestic abusers, and helps local authorities temporarily take weapons from people judged to be dangerous.
However the “celebration” Monday morning on the White House got here per week after a gunman in Highland Park, Illinois, killed seven people at an Independence Day parade, a stark reminder of the restrictions of the brand new law in addressing the American phenomenon of mass gun violence. And it comes as Democratic governors have taken up the mantle of offering outrage within the face of gun violence.
Biden hosted a whole lot of guests on the South Lawn, including a bipartisan group of lawmakers who crafted and supported the laws, in addition to local officials — including Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering — in addition to the families of victims of each mass shootings and on a regular basis gun violence.
“Due to your work, your advocacy, your courage, lives can be saved today and tomorrow for this reason,” Biden said.
Biden on Saturday invited Americans to share with him via text — a latest White House communications strategy — their stories of how they’ve been impacted by gun violence, tweeting that “I’m hosting a celebration of the passage of the Safer Communities Act.” He told a few of their stories on Monday of individuals traumatized by shootings and youngsters left orphaned by gun violence.
The law is the essentially the most impactful firearms violence measure Congress has approved since enacting a now-expired assault weapons ban in 1993. Yet gun control advocates — and even White House officials — say it’s premature to declare victory.
“There’s simply not much to have fun here,” said Igor Volsky, director of the private group Guns Down America.
“It’s historic, nevertheless it’s also the very bare minimum of what Congress should do,” Volsky said. “And as we were reminded by the shooting on July 4, and there’s so many other gun deaths which have occurred since then, the crisis of of gun violence is just way more urgent.”
Volsky’s group, together with other gun violence advocacy groups, was set to host a news conference on Monday outside the White House calling on Biden to arise a dedicated office on the White House to deal with gun violence with a greater sense of urgency.
Biden has left gun control policy to his Domestic Policy Council, fairly than establishing a dedicated office like he stood up to deal with climate change or the gender policy council he established to advertise reproductive health access.
“We have now a president who really hasn’t met the moment, who has chosen to act as a bystander on this issue,” Volsky said. “For some reason the administration absolutely refuses to have a senior official who can drive this issue across government.”
The president signed the bipartisan gun bill into law on June 25, calling it “a historic achievement” on the time.
On Monday, Biden said the law’s passage must be a call to motion for further motion to scale back gun violence.
“Will we match thoughts and prayers with motion,” Biden asked. “I say yes. And that’s what we’re doing here today.”
White House officials said Biden doesn’t see the passage of the bill because the finish line, but fairly a foundation that should be built on. The Illinois shooting occurred nine days after the bill signing.
“I recently signed the primary major bipartisan gun reform laws in almost 30 years into law, which incorporates actions that can save lives,” Biden said after July 4th shooting. “But there may be far more work to do, and I’m not going to present up fighting the epidemic of gun violence.”
On Friday, Biden responded to the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by paying attention to how the shooting had shocked people in Japan. The country has a strikingly low incidence of gun violence in comparison with the U.S., which has experienced hundreds of gun deaths already this 12 months.
Many of the latest law’s $13 billion in spending can be used for bolstering mental health programs and for schools, which have been targeted by shooters in Newtown, Connecticut; Parkland, Florida; and plenty of other gun massacres. It was the product of weeks of closed-door negotiations by a bipartisan group of senators who emerged with a compromise.
It doesn’t include far tougher restrictions that Democrats and Biden have long championed, equivalent to a ban on assault-type weapons and background checks for all gun transactions. Biden on Monday was expected to reiterate his call for those tougher measures, but prospects are slim for any further congressional motion.