As President Biden approaches the end of his first year in office, gun control advocacy groups have expressed mixed opinions on the actions the administration has taken on curbing gun violence so far.
Peter Ambler, executive director and co-founder of Giffords, told The Hill, “It is very difficult for any administration to sort of do enough in that context and I think indeed, we would like to see more from the Biden administration. What we need more than anything right now is a comprehensive strategy to deal with this reality, what is the plan?”
“We’re definitely surprised. We were really hopeful and he made a lot of promises. We are thankful for some of the actions the president has already taken but there is so much more he can do that’s a comprehensive top-to-bottom approach,” said Zeenat Yahya, deputy policy director at March for Our Lives.
President Biden has signed several executive orders on gun control this year – in fact, more than any previous administration – but Yahya says it is not enough. “I think the biggest thing to highlight here is that the president has been a friend to the gun violence prevention (GVP) movement this year and we’re thankful, but frankly, he hasn’t really been a leader.”
Other advocacy groups have praised Biden’s efforts in his first year. John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, said in a statement he believes the administration has made great strides in its gun safety agenda.
Feinblatt pointed to Biden’s “work on stopping illegal gun trafficking with DOJ strike forces, to their strong proposed rule reining in ghost guns that we expect to be finalized any day now, to being strong advocates for a historic investment in community violence intervention programs in the American Rescue Plan, this administration has been a strong ally to the gun safety movement. This year was just the start and we expect more from the executive branch in 2022.”
The White House cites the divided Senate as a main roadblock to meaningful gun safety legislation on its official website, saying, “While the President is using his existing authority to deliver meaningful action on gun violence, he continues to insist that Congress must act, and for Republicans in the Senate to stop blocking commonsense [sic] legislation to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and weapons of war off our streets.”
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: ABC NEWS
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