President Biden Has Nominated a Highly Qualified ATF Director and Announced Life-Saving Executive Actions to Stop the Proliferation of Ghost Guns, Address City Gun Violence and Gun Trafficking, and More
President Biden’s FY 2022 Budget Proposal Included $200 Million to New Community Violence Intervention Program, $50 Million to Fund Critical Gun Violence Research, Increased ATF Funding, Background Checks, and More
WASHINGTON –– Today, Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements in advance of President Joe Biden’s speech on his plan to address gun violence to combat rising crime in the United States. Specifically, President Biden will outline a new five-part strategy to reduce gun violence that includes the creation of new strike forces to take on gun trafficking, new efforts to hold rogue gun dealers accountable for violating federal laws, investments in community violence intervention programs, and more.
“By taking on gun trafficking while also investing in proven on-the-ground violence intervention programs, President Biden is taking the comprehensive approach we need to address this crisis,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “In their efforts to block badly-needed new gun safety laws, opponents of gun safety have long claimed the only thing we need to do is increase enforcement of existing ones. With today’s announcement, Joe Biden is putting that argument to bed. Those same voices can either express support for today’s move or expose their own argument as the fig leaf it’s always been.”
“President Biden and Vice President Harris ran as the strongest gun sense ticket in history, and since taking office they’ve acted like it — helping the gun safety movement make extraordinary strides this year,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “Today’s plan shows the Biden-Harris administration is willing to use every tool at its disposal to take on gun violence, and our army of six million strong stands behind them as they do so. Now it’s time for the Senate to join them and pass lifesaving, bipartisan background check legislation.”
The strategy convenes a new Community Violence Intervention Collaborative of 15 jurisdictions that are committing to use a portion of their American Rescue Plan funding (or other funding) to increase investment in community violence intervention infrastructure, helping prepare cities for potential rises in violence over the summer. The jurisdictions include Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Baltimore, MD; Baton Rouge, LA; Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; King County, WA; Los Angeles, CA; Memphis, TN; Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN; Newark, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Rapid City, SD; St. Louis, MO; and Washington, DC.
Everytown for Gun Safety recently unveiled a groundbreaking gun trafficking analysis which showed that an estimated 84,389 crime guns were likely trafficked between 2015 and 2019, defined as having crossed state lines and having been used in a crime within three years of first retail purchase — and 82% of these likely-trafficked guns came from states without background check laws. This followed Everytown’s March partnership with the City of Baltimore on a first-of-its-kind data intelligence tool to identify illegal firearms, solve crimes, and combat gun trafficking, and Everytown Law’s April lawsuit on behalf of the City of Chicago against an Indiana gun store tied to over 850 crime guns recovered by the City.
This is the strongest gun safety administration in history, as evidenced by President Biden’s historic executive actions to address gun violence, his long record of taking on the NRA and passing life-saving laws, Vice President Kamala Harris’ years of gun safety advocacy, and the unmatched gun sense cabinet they have built in recent months. Today’s announcement builds on the important actions President Biden has already taken on gun safety since entering office, from the nomination of David Chipman to be ATF Director, to combating deadly, untraceable ghost guns, to directing the Department of Justice to issue a new, annual comprehensive report on firearms trafficking. His administration’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2022 also included $200 million to a new community violence intervention program as a part of historic investments in gun safety.