Biden announces gun control actions as South Carolina reels from mass shooting

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Simone Jasper, Mitchell Willetts
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

President Joe Biden announced sweeping gun control actions on Thursday, a day after a mass shooting left five people dead in South Carolina.

Biden shared details Thursday about his executive actions on gun violence, which his administration called a “public health epidemic.”

On Wednesday, a well-known doctor, his wife and two grandchildren, and a worker at their home in Rock Hill were killed. A sixth person was injured, officials said.

Former NFL player Phillip Adams, who later died by suicide, has been identified as a suspect in the case. Police have not released a potential motive in the case.

Ahead of Biden’s official announcement, some gun control advocates noted the executive order coincided with the tragedy.

“Today is the day America makes a turn and puts a focus on saving lives,” Fred Guttenburg, parent of a student killed in the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in 2018, wrote in a Twitter post that linked to a story about the South Carolina shooting. “Anyone who doubts the importance of today, here is the latest preventable but inevitable mass shooting. We are better than this.”

While a White House fact sheet about the executive actions didn’t directly address the South Carolina shooting, it referenced other recent killings.

“The recent high-profile mass shootings in Boulder — taking the lives of 10 individuals — and Atlanta — taking the lives of eight individuals, including six Asian American women — underscored the relentlessness of this epidemic,” the White House said. “Gun violence takes lives and leaves a lasting legacy of trauma in communities every single day in this country, even when it is not on the nightly news.”

Second amendment advocates were quick to respond to Biden’s order, with the NRA calling the announcement a “circus.”

“These actions could require Americans to surrender lawful property, push states to expand confiscation orders, and put a gun control lobbyist to head ATF,” the nationwide pro-gun group tweeted Thursday. “Biden is dismantling the 2nd Amendment.”

The Biden administration said the six parts of the plan include:

  • Proposing a rule to crack down on so-called “ghost guns” without serial numbers, which make them difficult for police to trace

  • Proposing a rule to “make clear when a device marketed as a stabilizing brace effectively turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle”

  • Drafting “red flag” legislation for states to take up, which would allow officials to temporarily take guns away from people at risk of causing harm

  • Putting money toward efforts to curb violence in communities

  • Publishing an annual U.S. Department of Justice report on gun trafficking

  • Nominating David Chipman, a gun control advocate, as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which has gone without a confirmed leader for more than five years

“My job, the job of any president, is to protect the American people,” Biden said Thursday during his announcement. “Whether Congress acts or not, I’m going to use all the resources at my disposal as president to keep the American people safe from gun violence.”

David Chipman, Biden’s pick to head the ATF, is a 25-year veteran of the agency, NPR reported. But particularly controversial among gun advocates is his current role as a senior policy advisor for Giffords, an organization promoting gun control, led by former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in a 2011 mass shooting.

Conservative leaders across the country are taking action to strengthen support of the Second Amendment at the state level.

Earlier this week, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law a bill making the state a “Second Amendment sanctuary,” the AZ Mirror reported, by prohibiting state and local government from enforcing any federal laws that are “inconsistent with any law of this state regarding the regulation of firearms.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott took to Twitter on Thursday, vowing to do the same for the Lone Star State.

“(Biden) just announced a new liberal power grab to take away our guns. We will NOT allow this in TX,” Abbott said. “It’s time to get legislation making TX a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary State passed and to my desk for signing.”

Ex-NFL player Phillip Adams kills 5, injures 1 in Rock Hill, SC before killing himself