White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday, March 26, confirmed that President Joe Biden intends to sign executive orders on gun control, circumventing the need for a divided Congress to pass legislation.
“Yes,” Psaki told reporters at a briefing when asked about gun control executive orders. But she said the timing was unclear due to a review process.
“When the president was the vice president in the Obama-Biden administration, he helped put in place 23 executive actions to combat gun violence,” she added. “It’s one of the levers that we can use that any federal government, any president, can use to help address the prevalence of gun violence and address community safety around the country.”
The new gun control push by Democrats follows two mass shootings in six days. On Monday, 10 people were killed at a Boulder, Colorado grocery store, and a shooting last week left eight dead in Atlanta, Georgia.
During his first press conference as president on Thursday, Biden called for gun control legislation. Still, significant reforms are unlikely to pass the evenly divided Senate where 60 votes generally are needed to pass bills.
The House passed two bills this month to tighten gun control, one that would give authorities 10 business days instead of three to complete a background check before a gun sale—which Democrats call the “Charleston loophole.” That bill passed 219-210, with only two Republicans supporting it.
Another bill would expand background check requirements on individuals seeking to purchase or transfer firearms. Eight Republicans joined Democrats in backing the bill.
The Senate would need to garner support from 10 Republicans to overcome the filibuster and pass the legislation.
Republicans have pushed back against Democrats, accusing them of trying to take away guns from “law-abiding citizens.”
“Every time there is a shooting, we play this ridiculous theatre where this committee gets together and proposes a bunch of laws that would do nothing to stop these murders,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) said at Tuesday’s hearing.
“What happens in this committee after every mass shooting is Democrats propose taking away guns from law-abiding citizens because that’s their political objective,” Cruz said.