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Biden to sign executive order to increase background checks

(NewsNation) — President Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order Tuesday while in Monterey Park, California, that senior administration officials say aims to increase the number of background checks before gun purchases.

The Biden administration says with the executive order, the president is directing the attorney general to push the U.S. as close to universal background checks as possible without additional legislation by clarifying the statutory definition of who is “engaged in the business” of dealing guns.

The executive order also moves to improve public awareness and encourage the effective use of “red flag” laws. According to the Biden administration, 19 states and the District of Columbia have enacted “red flag” laws that allow trusted community members to petition a court to determine whether someone is dangerous and then remove their access to firearms for a certain amount of time.

Biden is slated to announce the executive order in Monterey Park, where he is traveling to grieve with families and community members impacted by the January shooting that left 11 dead and nine injured. The order will also direct cabinet members to work with Congress to develop a plan for how the federal government can support communities after mass shootings and identify what resources like mental health care, financial assistance, or food, can be made available to them.

The order calls for a number of reports. Biden says he wants to hold the gun industry accountable by releasing ATF records from inspections of firearms and by asking the Federal Trade Commission to issue a public report analyzing whether gun manufacturers market guns to minors.

The president is also requesting a report from each agency responsible for implementing his Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. The report, which he wants to show agency progression toward implementing the measures in the act, is due within 60 days.

As he calls on Congress to tighten gun laws, the Biden administration claims the president has taken more executive action on firearms than any other president at this point in their term.

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