President Joe Biden signed an executive order Tuesday designed to increase background checks in a visit to a Los Angeles suburb that was the site of a mass shooting this year. “It’s just common sense to check whether someone is a felon and domestic abuser before they buy a gun,” he stated.
The President issued the order shortly before a trip to Monterey Park, where 11 people were killed in January at a gathering for Lunar New Year celebrations. “We all saw a day and festivity and light turned into a day of fear and darkness,” Biden said Tuesday afternoon, when he read the names of the mass shooting victims.
The executive order directs Attorney General Merrick Garland to clarify the statutory definition of who is “engaged in the business” of selling firearms, an authority an administration official said was detailed in sweeping bipartisan gun legislation Biden signed into law last year after the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
“This news would mean fewer guns will be sold without background checks, and therefore fewer guns will end up in the hands of felons and domestic abusers,” the official briefed scribes.
The National Instant Background Check System carried out more than 31 million background checks on people looking to own firearms or explosives last year, FBI data shows. However, the added that it is not clear how many new background checks the executive order would result in.
The order also urges members of Biden’s Cabinet to promote effective use of extreme risk protection orders, or “red flag” laws, in 19 states and Washington, D.C., by partnering with law enforcement agencies, health care providers and educators.
Through the order, Biden also encourages the Federal Trade Commission to compile a report examining how gun manufacturers market firearms, including to minors.
The newly divided Congress appears unlikely to tackle any more gun bills after it passed the sweeping Bipartisan Gun Bill in 2022. That measure provides grants to states for red flag laws, expands background checks to include juvenile records and closes the so-called boyfriend loophole by keeping guns away from unmarried dating partners convicted of abuse. In addition, it requires enhanced background checks for people ages 18 to 21 and funding for youth mental health services.
Significantly, Biden signed the Bill just two days after the Supreme Court overturned a law limiting concealed carry permits.