NEWTOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Tuesday intended to increase background checks to buy guns and promote safe firearms storage.
The new push is part of an effort to ensure U.S. law enforcement agencies get more out of bipartisan gun control law enacted last summer.
“Gun violence in America is not inevitable,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and CEO of Sandy Hook Promise. “It is preventable if we all work together.”
Mark Barden knows firsthand the devastating impact gun violence has on a family and community. He lost his son, Daniel, at Sandy Hook Elementary School 10 years ago.
Barden said Biden’s executive order shows the commitment the president has towards ending gun violence.
“We can all agree that we want to protect our children,” Barden said. “We can all agree we want to make our communities safer. We have solutions that do that.”
Making sure firearms are safely stored has become a mission for Kristin Song, of Guilford. Her son, Ethan, was killed by an unsecured gun.
“I think people are starting to learn unsecured guns and unsupervised children are deadly,” Song said. “We need to start creating a cultural shift in this country where it becomes second nature for you to secure your guns if you have children in your home as it is to strap your children in a car seat.”
Reaction to the president’s order has been pouring in.
Democratic U.S. Senator Chris Murphy released the following statement:
“The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act would not have been possible without President Biden’s support, and I applaud today’s executive order directing the administration to fully implement the legislation and move our country closer to universal background checks. Updated guidance that clarifies which gun sellers are ‘engaged in the business’ of firearms sales, in particular, will help close loopholes in our background checks system. As we work to implement our landmark legislation, the early evidence is clear. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is saving lives by keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals and demonstrating that common sense gun safety legislation works. We must continue to build on this progress to finally end the scourge of gun violence.”
Po Murray, chairwoman of Newtown Action Alliance, said in part:
“Guns are the leading cause of death for American children and teens. We are thankful that President Biden is acting with a sense of urgency while members of the 118th Congress are sitting idle as our nation is facing a record level of mass shootings and daily gun violence in all our communities.”
Holly Sullivan, President of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League said in a written statement:
“American government is founded on a balanced system in which elected representatives can debate and refine not only principles but specific language in legislation before them. President Biden’s latest Executive Orders sidestep that process entirely and the White House even acknowledges the Orders implement further gun control “without additional legislation“. However, the execution of these Orders will have tremendous impact on good men and women in this country every day. For example, firearms dealers who make small administrative errors like a missing comma may be issued a violation by the ATF. To what extent would such a small infraction be made public and to what end? This is why concepts such as this should be handled in the legislature and not through Executive Order. The bottom line is that crime is a genuine problem in our country but the administration is more focused on gun control initiatives than meaningful punishment for violent offenders.”