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Biden announces new gun control actions

President Joe Biden, Nov. 15, 2021, on the South Lawn of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Cameron Smith)
February 03, 2022

President Joe Biden announced on Thursday additional steps his administration is taking to combat gun violence, including additional funding for community policing and community violence intervention.

The administration’s new actions to implement Biden’s “comprehensive strategy to reduce gun crime” include:

  • Directing every U.S. Attorney’s Office nationwide to increase resources dedicated to district-specific violent crime strategies.
  • Cracking down on illegal firearms trafficking “by adding personnel and other resources to strengthen the Justice Department’s multijurisdictional task forces that target interstate firearms trafficking.”
  • Launching a National Ghost Gun Enforcement Initiative, which aims to train prosecutors nationwide and provide information and tools “to help bring cases against those who use ghost guns to commit crimes.”
  • Pursuing unlawful gun sellers “that put firearms in the wrong hands” by “prioritizing federal prosecutions of those who criminally sell or transfer firearms that are used in violent crimes, including unlicensed dealers who sell guns to criminals without the required background checks.”

Biden also said in the statement that “stronger law enforcement is critical in stopping gun crime.” The president urged Congress to approve additional funding that would “more than double the size of the Department of Justice’s COPS community policing grant program.”

“This plan builds on the steps the President has taken since the beginning of his Administration to stop the flow of guns being used in crimes, bolster federal, state, and local law enforcement, invest in community-based programs that prevent, interrupt, and reduce violence, expand opportunity, lower recidivism, and increase funding for community policing,” the White House said in a statement.

Biden’s announcement comes as he heads to New York, where Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Sunday called on the federal government to provide $1.5 billion in taxpayer funds for the state’s new anti-gun task force that he said would help combat “the scourge of gun violence.”

In June last year, Biden announced his administration’s “Comprehensive Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gun Crime and Ensure Public Safety.”

Biden’s plan included efforts to “stem the flow of firearms used to commit violence, including by holding rogue firearms dealers accountable for violating federal laws; support local law enforcement with federal tools and resources to help address summer violent crime; invest in evidence-based community violence interventions; expand summer programming, employment opportunities, and other services and supports for teenagers and young adults; and help formerly incarcerated individuals successfully reenter their communities.”