WH Press Secretary: Biden 'Has a Personal Commitment' to 'Addressing Gun Violence'

Susan Jones | February 12, 2021 | 5:50am EST
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A notice taped to the front door of a Santa Fe, New Mexico, building. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)
A notice taped to the front door of a Santa Fe, New Mexico, building. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - As President Joe Biden unspools his leftist agenda, gun control is coming, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki indicated on Thursday.

She told reporters that administration officials held a "virtual discussion" on Wednesday "with leaders of gun violence prevention groups to discuss our shared goals."

A reporter asked Psaki if President Biden will impose gun control by executive action. Pskai responded:

Well, first I will say that, you know, the president addressing gun violence in the country and putting in place additional safety measures is something that the president has a personal commitment to.

And his history on this issue is evidence of that. You know, he's obviously taken on the NRA twice and won, and he is happy and eager to do that in the future.

Part of our engagement is working with groups to determine what the steps are that can be taken. But I don't have anything to preview for you at this point terms of what the policy will look like or what form it will take.

Psaki opened Thursday's news conference by noting that "on this day 21 years ago," President Clinton named the White House briefing room for former Press Secretary James Brady, who was shot and seriously injured during the 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.

"During the campaign," Psaki said, "President Biden laid out an ambitious plan to make our community safer, and that is why in part yesterday senior members of his team -- Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice, White House Public Engagement Director Cedric Richmond -- hosted a virtual discussion with leaders of gun violence prevention groups to discuss our shared goals.

The very gun violence prevention organization named for James Brady was part of the discussion along with Giffords, Every Town for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action. These organizations all have a critical role to play.

Guns violence may not be in the headlines today or right now, but gun violence continues to fracture American communities and American families every single day. Last year we saw a historic spike in homicides across America, and we know gun violence in our cities disproportionately affects black and brown individuals.

Last month we also saw a near record increase in the number of gun sales. We look forward to working with gun violence survivors and advocates and sharing more in the weeks and months ahead about our efforts to make our community safer.

Squeezing gun owners, gun makers

The National Rifle Association warns that Biden plans to bankrupt the U.S. firearms industry by having Democrats repeal a 2005 law that bars civil lawsuits against gunmakers when criminals misuse firearms.

In addition, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) recently introduced a bill, H.R. 127, that would impose licensing, training requirements, and fees on would-be gun buyers or gun owners.

The NRA summarized Jackson's bill, which would:

-- Require licensing for possession of firearms and ammunition (fee not specified);

-- Require additional licensing (cost not specified) to display an antique firearm in the home;

-- Require additional licensing (cost not specified) for possession of "military style weapons”;

-- Require firearm liability insurance with a yearly fee of $800 payable to the U.S. attorney general.

-- Establish a detailed federal firearm registration system to which the public, all federal, state and local law enforcement, all governments, and all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces would have complete access.

Under Rep. Jackson's proposed firearm licensing requirements, gun buyers/owners must be 21, undergo a criminal background check, and complete a minimum 24-hour training course approved by the U.S. attorney general.

Gun owners also would have to undergo a psychological evaluation, and so would other members of the gun owner's household. The psychologist (who would charge a fee, not yet specified) would have to be on a list approved by the U.S. attorney general.

Jackson's bill includes criminal penalties for people who sell, loan or give a firearm or ammunition to another person, unless the person has notified the U.S. attorney general of the sale, loan or gift.

It would be unlawful for a person to transfer a firearm or ammunition to an unlicensed person; unlawful to possess ammunition that is 0.50 caliber or greater; large capacity ammunition feeding devices would be outlawed.

Violations of law carry heavy fines and prison terms.

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