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Biden to sign executive order on gun background checks


President Joe Biden will sign an executive order Tuesday to increase background checks during a visit to a Los Angeles suburb that has been the scene of a mass shooting this year.

A senior administration official said Biden planned to sign the order at Monterey Park, where 11 people were killed in January during a rally for Lunar New Year celebrations.

The executive order would direct Attorney General Merrick Garland to clarify the statutory definition of who is “engaged in the business” of selling firearms, an authority the administration official said was detailed in bipartisan legislation on the guns Biden signed into law last year after the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

“This news would mean that fewer guns will be sold without background checks, and therefore fewer guns will end up in the hands of criminals and domestic abusers,” the official said during a call with reporters previewing the order.

The National Instant Background Check System conducted more than 31 million background checks on people seeking to possess firearms or explosives last year, according to FBI data.

The administration official said it was unclear how many new background checks would result in the executive order.

The order also urges members of Biden’s cabinet to promote effective use of extreme risk protection orders, or “red flag” laws, in 19 states and Washington, D.C., by partnering with law enforcement. order, health care providers and educators.

Through the order, Biden will also encourage the Federal Trade Commission to compile a report examining how gunmakers market firearms, including to minors.

The newly divided Congress seems unlikely to tackle any more gun bills after passing the sweeping bipartisan bill last year. This measure grants grants to states for red flag laws, expands background checks to include records of minors and closes the so-called boyfriend loophole by keeping guns away from unmarried dating partners convicted of abuse . In addition, it calls for enhanced background checks for people aged 18 to 21 and funding for youth mental health services.

Biden signed the bill just two days after the Supreme Court struck down a law limiting concealed carry permits.

On Tuesday, Biden is also expected to reiterate his call for Congress to ban so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, a goal he was unable to achieve even when Democrats controlled both. bedrooms.

Biden urged Congress to act in his State of the Union address last month, when he honored guest Brandon Tsay, who helped eliminate the Monterey Park suspect.

“We know our job is not done,” Biden said at the time. “Let’s get the job done and ban these assault weapons.”

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.