The scope of the new salvo of regulatory measures supposed to limit the circulation of firearms announced Tuesday, March 14 by Joe Biden will remain limited in the absence of a federal law, a prospect currently very unlikely.
The measures announced must, in particular, strengthen background checks for firearms purchases – even if the principle of universal verification can only be imposed by federal legislation, the White House said in a press release.
The American president must expose these measures during the day in Monterey Park, California, a locality bereaved at the beginning of the year by a shooting which made eleven victims in the Asian community. Mr. Bident also wants to encourage the use of reporting (“red flag”) of potentially violent individuals, whom justice can then deprive of firearms, and cope with the explosion – + 250% between 2018 and 2022 – in the number of weapons declared as “stolen” Or “lost” during transport between merchants.
Republicans, fierce supporters of the right to own a weapon
Joe Biden also wants to increase the pressure on the powerful firearms sector, by reporting sellers who have violated federal rules, in a country which would have some 393 million civilian firearms for 331.9 million inhabitants. He “encourages” in addition, the Federal Trade Agency, an independent body, to publish a report on the sale and promotion of firearms to minors.
The American president knows, however, that he cannot do much about the multiple shootings, of which only the bloodiest now give rise to media coverage, such as that which took place in a school in Texas on May 24 and which had at least nineteen victims including many children between 7 and 10 years old.
It is indeed the States which are competent in terms of the purchase, ownership and carrying of firearms. Only a federal law could be imposed on them, for example to ban assault rifles, as claimed by Joe Biden.
That seems highly unlikely with one of the two houses of Congress now in the hands of Republicans, staunch supporters of the constitutional right to own a gun.