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'This Time It's Going to be Different': Biden Takes Aim at Guns with Executive Orders


Bypassing Congress, President Biden on Thursday announced a series of executive orders targeting gun violence.

"I asked the attorney general to identify what concrete actions I could take now without having to go through the Congress," said Biden.

The measures follow three mass shootings in three weeks. The latest shooting incident occurred in South Carolina Wednesday. The policies are among the most aggressive steps in a decade and include a Justice Department crackdown on so-called ghost guns made with a 3D printer. 

"Modern guns are not simply cast or forged anymore but can be made of plastic printed on a 3D printer or sold in self-assembly kits," said U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Biden is also calling for tightening regulations on pistol-stabilizing braces, like the one used by the Boulder, Colorado, shooter in a rampage last month, investing in community violence intervention programs, a firearms trafficking report, and "Red-Flag" laws allowing courts to temporarily remove guns from people in crisis.

On Capitol Hill, Democratic leaders are also vowing to overhaul gun laws and pass laws requiring stricter background checks.

"This time is going to be different. A Democratic majority in the Senate is going to act. I have committed to putting legislation to expand background checks on the floor of the Senate," said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). 

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While the House passed a background check bill last month, gun control measures face slim chances in the evenly divided Senate. The GOP seems near-unified against Biden's proposals. 

"The focus ought to be on identifying people in advance who have the capacity and who are carrying out these atrocious acts," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Biden has also nominated David Chipman, a former Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives special agent, to lead the agency.

Meanwhile, pundits point out Biden's announcement falls far short of the sweeping gun-control agenda he talked about on the campaign trail - underscoring the limits of executive power to act on guns.

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