By Stacy M. Brown | NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
(NNPA) – President Joe Biden on Monday touted “historic progress” on actions to reduce gun violence.
He said his administration has taken more executive action to reduce gun violence than any other president during their first two years in office.
Biden celebrated the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which he called the most significant gun violence reduction legislation to pass Congress in 30 years.
“Today is many things. It’s proof that despite the naysayers, we can make meaningful progress in dealing with gun violence,” Biden exclaimed during a White House event. “Make no mistake about it, this legislation is real progress, but more has to be done.”
“The provision of this new legislation is going to save lives, and its proof that in today’s politics, we can come together on a bipartisan basis to get important things done, even on an issue as tough as guns.”
Members of Congress, families who lost loved ones to gun violence, and others gathered on the South Lawn for the ceremony celebrating Biden’s successful gun reform bill.
The bill enhances background checks for gun buyers under 21, provides billions of dollars for mental health services and gives $750 million to states to incentivize crisis intervention programs.
It also ensures that individuals convicted of domestic violence can’t buy a weapon for at least five years.
After most mass shootings, social media fills up with posts about thoughts and prayers from lawmakers and others.
Biden appeared to recognize that in his speech Monday.
“Will we match thought and prayers with action? I say yes, and that’s what we’re doing here today,” Biden declared.
The Biden Administration promised to continue to use “all of the tools at its disposal” to address the epidemic of gun violence.
The President’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget proposes $32 billion in additional funding to fight crime, including $20.6 billion in discretionary funding for federal law enforcement and state and local law enforcement and crime prevention programs, an increase of 11% over FY22 enacted ($18.6 billion) and 18% over FY21 enacted ($17.5 billion).
Biden said there’s much more that can and must be done to save lives. He vowed to continue to urge Congress to take further legislative action to keep dangerous guns out of dangerous hands, including a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, strengthening background checks, and enacting safe storage laws.
“We’ve finally moved that mountain, a mountain of opposition, obstruction and indifference that stood in the way and stopped every effort of gun safety for 30 years in this nation,” Biden stated. “Now is the time to galvanize this movement, because that’s our duty to the people of this nation.”