Biden gun control: Don Jr and Cruz lead GOP outrage as President declares ‘no amendment is absolute’

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Andrew Naughtie and Justin Vallejo
·2 min read
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<p>Joe Biden</p> (AFP via Getty)

Joe Biden

(AFP via Getty)

Joe Biden’s much-awaited gun control agenda kicked into action today as the president unveiled executive actions on what one adviser has called “the gun violence public health epidemic”. Gun safety is one of Mr Biden’s signature issues going back decades, and pressure on him to take aggressive action on it has been intensified by recent mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder.

“Enough prayers, time for some action,” Mr Biden said, while pre-empting expected criticisms that his executive action violated the Second Amendment as “bizarre”.

The GOP’s Second Amendment advocates pushed back, with Ted Cruz saying the answer to gun violence is to “come down like a ton of bricks” on violent criminals, and not to restrict the Constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.

Donald Trump Jr, meanwhile, said the president wants to disarm Americans while allowing his son, Hunter Biden, to illegally obtain firearms. Hunter Biden may have committed a felony by lying on background checks before purchasing a gun, which was then thrown in a dumpster, requiring the Secret Service to intervene, according to reporting inPolitico.

“Hunter is allowed to break the law and lie on federal background check forms to get a gun with no consequences??? Seems fair,” he said in a tweet.

The White House is hedging somewhat in advance of the inevitable debate over the president’s moves. Communications Director Kate Bedingfield told CNN this morning that Mr Biden “would be the first to say this is not enough”, and signalled the next step would be to shift the onus to Capitol Hill. “Congress needs to move forward,” she said, “for example, on the bipartisan background check bills that are in front of them, because the majority of the American people believe that we need sensible gun reform.”

Meanwhile, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has called on the Biden administration to shut a detention facility where he says child migrants are being sexually assaulted. State authorities are investigating claims of abuse and neglect at the Freeman Coliseum near San Antonio, which currently houses some 1,300 people.

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