President Biden is considering possible executive orders on gun control after the mass shooting that killed 10 in Boulder, Colorado, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday.
“We are considering a range of levers, including working through legislation, including executive action,” Psaki told reporters aboard Air Force One during a flight to Ohio.
Psaki said “he as vice president was leading the effort on determining executive actions that could be taken on gun safety measures, it’s something that he has worked on, he’s passionate about, he feels personally connected to. But there’s an ongoing process and I think we feel we have to work on multiple channels at the same time.”
The White House is considering orders to require background checks for “ghost guns” that can be manufactured at home without serial numbers, and a requirement that local cops be notified if someone fails an FBI background check to buy a gun from a registered dealer, according to recent reports.
The reported orders under consideration aren’t necessarily applicable to the recent shootings in Boulder or to the murder of eight last week at Atlanta massage parlors.
Suspected Atlanta shooter Robert Long, 21, reportedly bought a semi-automatic pistol from a dealer after passing a background check on the day of the killings. Suspected Boulder gunman Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, also 21, bought a Ruger AR-556 pistol — also apparently legally — seven days before the attack, police said.
Biden called for gun control legislation Tuesday in a speech at the White House, but significant reforms are unlikely to pass the evenly divided Senate, where 60 votes generally are needed to pass bills.
“I don’t need to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take common-sense steps that will save lives in the future. And to urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to act. We can ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in this country once again,” Biden said.
Thirty-five Senate Democrats introduced legislation this month to ban “assault weapons” including popular semi-automatic guns such as AR-15-style rifles.
Federal litigation in recent decades expanded gun rights, establishing that an individual right to own guns is protected by the Second Amendment and knocking away local bans on handguns and restrictions on concealed carry permits.
12Rally goers carry protest signs during the March for Our Lives Rally in Washington, DC in 2018.
Former President Donald Trump’s administration in 2018 banned via regulation the use of “bump stocks,” which allow semi-automatic guns to fire more rapidly, after the mass murder of 60 at a Las Vegas country music concert. The Supreme Court turned down a challenge to that ban.