The Biden Administration, in its effort to stem the gun violence epidemic, has launched the Safer States Initiative and introduced new executive actions to reduce Gun Violence. (You can bet a Republican administration would reverse any initiatives.) This fact sheet is from the White House: – Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
In September 2023, President Biden established the first-ever White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention, overseen by Vice President Kamala Harris. President Biden tasked the office with four key responsibilities, including enhancing the federal government’s partnerships with cities and states to help them advance their own efforts to reduce gun violence.
Vice President Harris has launched the Biden-Harris Administration’s Safer States Initiative to provide states with additional tools and the support they need to reduce gun violence and save lives. To kick off the initiative, the White House released the Biden-Harris Safer States Agenda, outlining key actions states should take, including:
- Establishing a State Office of Gun Violence Prevention;
- Investing in evidence-informed solutions to prevent and respond to gun violence, including community violence interventions, Crime Gun Intelligence Centers, and implementation of Extreme Risk Protection Orders;
- Strengthening support for survivors and victims of gun violence;
- Reinforcing responsible gun ownership, including by requiring safe storage of firearms and reporting of lost and stolen firearms;
- Strengthening gun background checks, including by enacting universal background checks legislation and removing barriers to completing enhanced background checks; and
- Holding the gun industry accountable, including by banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and enacting firearm-specific liability laws to ensure that victims of gun violence have their day in court.
To help states advance this agenda, the Justice Department announced two new executive actions to reduce gun violence.
- Safe Storage Model Legislation. Safe storage saves lives. It is one tool in the toolkit to reduce school shootings, because we know that most often those students who carry out K-12 school shootings are using firearms they obtain from the home of a friend or family member. It is also a critical strategy to reduce suicide by firearms, accidental shootings, and the theft of firearms. The Department of Justice’s model legislation details how states can require the safe storage of firearms, including in vehicles, and hold individuals liable for harm caused by unsecured firearms.
- Lost and Stolen Firearms Reporting Model Legislation. Reporting of lost and stolen firearms allows law enforcement to investigate and prosecute firearms trafficking. The Department of Justice’s model legislation provides states with a framework for requiring that a person promptly report the loss or theft to law enforcement.
In the months ahead, the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention will continue to proactively work with states to make sure they have additional resources and support needed to advance these agenda items.