N.C lawmaker, organization reacts to Pres. Biden’s executive orders addressing gun control
President Biden announced six initial actions addressing gun control after a series of recent mass shootings in the U.S.
GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - President Joe Biden announced six initial actions he says are meant to curb some of the gun violence in the U.S. following several recent mass shootings.
“Whether Congress acts or not, I’m going to use all the resources at my disposal to keep the American people safe from gun violence,” Pres. Biden said at the White House Rose Garden on Thursday, adding that he’s not impinging on the Second Amendment. “The idea is just bizarre to suggest that some of the things we’re recommending are contrary to the Constitution. Gun violence in this country is an epidemic and it is an international embarrassment.”
An executive order is where the president puts forward a policy that has the effect of law without having gone through the legislature, East Carolina University political science professor Dr. Brad Lockerbie said.
“I would guess that he is issuing these executive orders in large part because he thinks he won’t be able to get legislation through the Senate, and he wants to have an immediate effect.”
The actions include tightening restrictions on “ghost guns,” or handmade or self-assembled guns, pistol-stabilizing braces and publishing a model “red flag” legislation for states, which would allow family members or law enforcement agencies to ask state courts to temporarily block someone from getting a firearm if they present a danger to themselves or others.
Tony Cope, a gun violence survivor and volunteer at the North Carolina volunteer chapter of Moms Demand Action, said he supports peoples’ rights to own a weapon but focused on the issues of suicide and domestic violence in terms of the “red flag” laws.
“It’s not getting gun confiscation, we’re not taking people’s guns permanently,” Cope said. “But it’s a way of removing people’s access to those weapons when they are really facing trauma.”
Rep. Chris Humphrey (R-Lenoir, Pitt) said his concern is that if you start chipping at the Second Amendment, law-abiding citizens would not be able to protect themselves.
“The intent of “red flag” laws is to save lives and to save persons from harming themselves,” Humphrey said. “It’s a real touchy subject, for one person to actually make that decision, just causes a lot of consternation.”
Humphrey said the next question would be how long will government keep the guns and how long before a person would get a trial.
“Once you start arbitrarily issuing executive orders and trying to change the law, it makes those of us who are law-abiding citizens who carry guns ... a little uneasy. It feels like you’re infringing on our liberties to an extent ... we just want to make sure our ability to own a firearm and to protect ourselves and our families is not impeded.”
Biden’s announcements demonstrate a pattern for Lockerbie, who said that unless a filibuster is obliterated, which apparently is not a given that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has come out against it, he wouldn’t expect a gun control bill to pass through the Senate and survive a filibuster.
The House passed two bills on gun background checks.
“Executive orders are becoming a much more frequent way that presidents get things done, in part because the legislative process is slow and they’re not willing to put up with it,” Lockerbie said. “Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is a wholly separate question, but they are doing it more. The President has become much more powerful over the last 30-40 years.”
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