Report: Team Biden Weighs Declaring Gun Violence a Public Health Emergency

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks about his plan to curb gun violence on February 20, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Biden was joined by gun violence survivors and activists. The upcoming Nevada Democratic presidential caucus will be held February 22. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Mario Tama/Getty Images

President Joe Biden’s administration is weighing the idea of declaring gun violence as a public health emergency, in order to take dramatic executive action to tackle gun rights.

Biden officials and gun control activists discussed the idea, according to the New York Times, as well as other executive actions that could tackle gun rights nationwide.

If Biden declared a public health emergency, he could shift more funding to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to increase their inspections of gun dealerships. It would also loosen up available funds for community gun violence programs.

The administration is also exploring a way to classify gun kits (including 80 percent uppers/lowers) as firearms, requiring a serial number and subject to background checks. Gun control activists describe gun kits as “ghost guns” as they are untraceable.

The third gun violence option under consideration would include strengthened background checks.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday the Biden administration would continue exploring ways to tackle gun rights through executive actions.

“He certainly believes that, but there are also executive actions under consideration that we will continue working through internally,” she said about Biden. “And there’s lots of levers you can take.”

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