After months of cryptic promises, President Joe Biden made clear last week that his administration is officially coming for Americans’ guns.
According to the Daily Caller, the president issued a statement on Valentine’s Day, the third anniversary of a deadly mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, urging Congress to take legislative action on “commonsense gun law reforms” that he unironically claims will “make our schools and communities safer.”
Biden’s statement came just days before a similar assertion from White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki insisting that increased gun control is a top “priority” for the current administration.
Biden promises swift action
Writing Feb. 14, Biden said his White House “will not wait for the next mass shooting” to move on gun reform.
“Today, I am calling on Congress to enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets,” the president said.
“We owe it to all those we’ve lost and to all those left behind to grieve to make a change,” he added. “The time to act is now.”
Keeping their options open
Two days later, according to the Daily Caller, Psaki was asked during a press briefing to give a timeline on Biden’s plans in the anti-Second Amendment realm. But she didn’t provide many details.
Noting that no package had been proposed yet, Psaki said, “I don’t have a prediction for you, or a preview for you on a timeline of a package, and certainly not what it will look like and how it goes through Congress.”
“I will say that the president is somebody, throughout his career, who has advocated for smart gun, smart gun safety measures,” the press secretary added, according to Fox News. “He is not afraid of standing up to the NRA — he has done it multiple times.”
Pressed on whether Biden intends to issue an executive order on gun reform, Psaki demurred, saying the president “has a range of actions at his disposal” that have not yet been “ruled out,” according to a White House transcript.
They’re already getting started
In the meantime, Democrats in Congress are already getting to work on what they see as a solution to the problem. Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) has sponsored and submitted H.R. 127, the Firearm Licensing and Registration Act, which would establish a nationwide federal licensing and registration scheme for the possession of firearms, accessories, and ammunition, and impose severe penalties like prison time and steep fines for non-compliance.
The act would also mandate pricey insurance policies for licensed gun owners, ban ammunition that is .50 caliber in size or larger, and bar so-called “large-capacity” magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, again with stiff penalties for violations. And it seems that’s just the beginning.