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US gun violence: Biden takes action on 'international embarrassment'

  • US gun violence: Biden takes action on 'international embarrassment'
    US gun violence: Biden takes action on 'international embarrassment'
Region:
USA
Category:
Politics
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"Gun violence in this country is an epidemic, and it's an international embarrassment," Biden said

US President Joe Biden has issued an order targeting homemade guns, known as "ghost guns" because they are unregistered and untraceable.

"Gun violence in this country is an epidemic, and it's an international embarrassment," he said on Thursday.

The president is enacting new measures through an executive order, meaning he does not need approval from Congress.

It includes efforts to set rules for certain guns, bolster background checks and support local violence prevention.

However, the president will have an uphill task. The right to bear arms is protected by the Second Amendment to the US Constitution and many people see gun control laws as infringing on this constitutional right.

On Wednesday, another mass shooting made the headlines, with five people, including two young children, killed in South Carolina. The suspect has been named a former NFL player Phillip Adams.

This followed two mass shootings in March, which left a total of 18 people dead - one in Boulder, Colorado and the other in Atlanta, Georgia.

Speaking in the White House Rose Garden on Thursday, Mr Biden said 106 people are killed every day by guns in the country.

"This is an epidemic for God's sake. And it has to stop," he continued.

He also offered condolences to the family killed in South Carolina.

Mr Biden's executive order gives the Justice Department 30 days to propose a rule that will help reduce the number of so-called "ghost guns".

These guns are self-assembled, which means they do not contain a serial number and cannot be traced. Background checks are also not required to purchase the assembly kits.

"Anyone from a criminal to a terrorist can buy this kit and, in as little as 30 minutes, put together a weapon," Mr Biden said.

Experts say that these homemade guns are increasingly being used in crimes. Over 40% of guns being seized in Los Angeles are ghost guns, according to federal firearms officials.

Mr Biden is also giving the Justice Department two months to come up with a rule on stabilizing braces for pistols. Under the rule, a pistol used with a stabilizing brace would be classified as a short-barreled rifle, which requires much more stringent background checks under the National Firearms Act.

The Justice Department has also been asked to draft a "red flag law" which states can then use to create their own legislation. These laws authorize the courts and law enforcement to remove guns from people thought to be a risk to the community.