Indian American vice president says Biden has the will and the courage to act against gun violence.
As President Joe Biden outlined actions to prevent gun violence after a spate of mass shootings in recent weeks, his Indian American deputy Kamala Harris said solutions already exist to tackle the problem.
“This is an epidemic, for God’s sake, and it has to stop,” said Biden announcing steps targeting the gun show loophole and so-called “ghost guns” to curb what he called “an international embarrassment.”
Introducing the president at the White House Rose Garden event Thursday in front of an audience of lawmakers and advocates for stricter gun laws, Harris said, “Biden has the will and the courage to act.”
“I have fought my entire career to end this violence and to pass reasonable gun safety laws,” Harris said. “Time and again, as progress has stalled, we have all asked, ‘What are we waiting for?’”
“Because we aren’t waiting for a tragedy; I know that. We’ve had more tragedy than we can bear,” she said. “We aren’t waiting for solutions either, because the solutions exist. They already exist.”.
“People on both sides of the aisle want action. Real people, on both sides of the aisle, want action. So all that is left is the will and the courage to act,” said Harris amid applause.
“And President Joe Biden has the will and the courage to act,” she said recalling that as a US senator, “Biden took on the gun lobby not once, but twice, and he won.”
In 1993, Harris noted, he worked to pass the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act which established a background check system and has kept more than 3 million firearms out of the hands of dangerous people.
“A year later, he worked to pass another law to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines for 10 years.”
And as Vice President, Biden led the Obama-Biden administration’s efforts to reduce gun violence, Harris said calling him “a leader with great will, great determination, and even greater empathy.”
“He has seen the grief of all of those who have lost a loved one to gun violence. It is for them, for all of us, that he will never, ever give up on this fight,” she said.
Among the actions Biden announced:
To rein in the proliferation of so-called ghost guns, which can be assembled at home from kits, requiring serial numbers on key parts and buyers to have background checks.
The Justice Department will issue an annual report on firearms trafficking, updating the last one from 2000.
The Justice Department has been directed to draft rules regulating stabilizing braces that make AR-15 pistols, which are generally subject to fewer regulations than rifles, more stable and accurate.
The suspect in last month’s Boulder, Colorado, mass shooting that killed 10 people reportedly used such a brace.
The Justice Department will draft a template for states to use to write “red flag” laws that enable law enforcement and family members to seek court orders to remove firearms from people determined to be a threat to themselves or others.
Biden has been under pressure to act to curb gun violence after last month’s shootings in Boulder and at several Atlanta-area businesses that killed eight people, six of whom were women of Asian descent.