Biden Takes Action on Gun Violence Prevention

This week, the Biden-Harris Administration outlined a series of actions to address the country’s “gun violence public health epidemic.” Following numerous high-profile mass shootings in Colorado and Georgia, the Biden-Harris Administration called on Congress to pass legislation to reduce gun violence. In the meantime, however, the Administration announced it is taking a set of actions via executive order; these actions include:

  • Community Violence Intervention Efforts: The Biden-Harris Administration announced a series of investments in community violence intervention programs and services, including:
    • American Jobs Plan: Included in the President’s recently proposed American Jobs Plan, Congress is urged to invest $5 billion over eight years to support evidence-based community violence intervention programs that train at-risk individuals for jobs and provide other wraparound services to prevent violence and assist victims.
    • Medicaid Funding: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will organize a webinar and toolkit to educate states on how to use Medicaid to reimburse certain community violence intervention programs, including hospital-based violence interventions.
    • Leveraging Existing Grant Programs: Five federal agencies are making changes to existing federal funding streams across 26 programs to direct support to community violence intervention programs as quickly as possible. Among those actions, the National Institutes of Health will prioritize community-based intervention research for its Firearm Injury and Mortality Prevention Research grant awards. These programs will provide $12.5 million to improve understanding of the determinants of firearm injury, those most at risk, and strategies to prevent firearm injury and mortality.
  • DOJ Rule on Ghost Guns: President Biden directed the Department of Justice to issue a proposed rule within 30 days to address the presence of “ghost guns” without a serial number.
  • DOJ Rule on Stabilizing Braces: The President additionally directed the Department of Justice to issue a proposed rule on firearm stabilizing braces which can make a firearm more stable and accurate while still be concealable.
  • DOJ Model Red Flag Legislation: Within 60 days, the Department of Justice will publish model “red flag” legislation for states. Red flag laws allow family members or law enforcement to petition for a court order to temporarily bar people in crisis from accessing firearms if they present a danger to themselves or others. The President is also urging Congress to pass an appropriate national red flag law.
  • Firearms Trafficking Report: The Department of Justice will issue a new comprehensive report on firearms trafficking and annual updates necessary to give policymakers information needed to address firearms trafficking today. The last time a similar report was published was in 2000 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF).
  • ATF Director Nomination: President Joe Biden nominated David Chipman as the ATF Director. The bureau has not had a confirmed director since 2015. Chipman previously served at the ATF for 25 years and has been working to advance commonsense gun safety laws.

Additional information on the Biden-Harris Administration’s gun violence intervention and prevention actions is available here.