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White House launches state-level effort to reduce gun violence

The White House outlined a list of recommended gun safety measures to be implemented at the state level Wednesday, the latest instance of the Biden administration pushing to curb gun violence.

Vice President Harris was set to host dozens of state legislators from across the country to launch the Safer States Initiatives, which officials said would give states “additional tools and the support they need to reduce gun violence and save lives.”

As part of the initiative, the White House released what it called six key actions it believes states should take, including the establishment of an Office of Gun Violence Prevention like the one President Biden created at the federal level in September.

The White House is also urging states to invest in proven gun violence prevention methods, such as red flag laws that allow law enforcement to take weapons away from individuals deemed a threat to themselves or others.

Other recommendations include increased support for survivors and victims of gun violence, banning assault weapons, strengthening background checks and requiring safe storage of firearms.

“We’ve been meeting with state legislators ever since the start of our office, and one thing we hear all the time is they want to do more to reduce gun violence,” said Stefanie Feldman, head of the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention.

Feldman said many state lawmakers have been looking for guidance on what steps are most effective to reduce gun violence, and the agenda Harris will present Wednesday will identify best strategies.

As part of Wednesday’s effort, the Justice Department rolled out model legislation detailing how states can require the safe storage of firearms. The model legislation aims to address one major cause of gun violence — that students who carry out school shootings are often using firearms found at home.

The Justice Department will also post model legislation to give states a framework for requiring individuals to promptly report the loss or theft of a firearm.

A White House official said legislators from both parties from across the country were invited to take part in Wednesday’s meeting, though it was not clear if any Republicans would attend.

Addressing gun violence has been a recurring issue for Biden since taking office nearly three years ago.

The president has signed executive actions to target the proliferation of ghost guns, which are difficult to track, and to bolster background checks. He established the Office of Gun Violence Prevention in September to focus specifically on the issue of mass shootings. He has repeatedly called on Congress to reimpose a ban on assault weapons.

Still, gun violence has plagued the country, with Biden address mass shootings on a regular basis. 

Biden visited Lewiston, Maine, last month after a mass shooting there left 18 people dead. The president during a trip to Nevada last week addressed a shooting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where a gunman killed three faculty members.

Source: The Hill

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