The Biden administration announced it is launching the first Office of Gun Violence Prevention within the White House to implement existing actions and identify additional actions President Joe Biden can take to end “the scourge of gun violence” in America.
The Hill reports that Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will officially establish the new office at a White House event on Friday, with members of Congress, mayors, and victims of gun violence in attendance.
“The president wants us to continue to dig deep and find additional actions we can take,” a senior administration official told reporters, adding that additional staff and increased coordination with the White House are needed to do so.
The official also said the office will focus on implementing the bipartisan gun control law Biden signed last summer and the numerous executive actions he has taken.
Longtime Biden staffer Stefanie Feldman will serve as the new office’s director and Harris will oversee it, according to a statement from the White House.
Feldman told reporters that the purpose of creating the office is “to accelerate lifesaving work.”
“President Biden would be the first to say that we need to do so much more to address this public health epidemic of gun violence,” she reportedly said.
Greg Jackson, the head of Community Justice Action Fund, and Rob Wilcox, senior director of federal government affairs at Everytown for Gun Safety, will also join the new White House office as deputy directors, the White House said.
According to The Hill, the first order of business for the office will be to push for the federal government to do more for communities impacted by mass shootings, which can cause long-term mental health and economic issues.
Funding for the office will come from the White House budget, and it will partner with law enforcement and survivors of gun violence to assist communities.
Biden’s bid for reelection received early endorsements from several leading gun violence prevention groups, including Community Justice Action Fund and Everytown for Gun Safety.
While the movement to prevent gun violence has supported the president’s efforts, it considers them to be just the beginning; and Biden acknowledged in June that the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act doesn’t go far “enough.”
In its statement, the White House pointed to a rule proposed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to expand background checks for gun purchases.
Biden has also called on Congress to ban semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines, require safe storage of firearms, require universal background checks, end gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability, and enact his Safer America plan, which would put more police on the streets and invest in gun violence prevention.
Nicole Wells ✉
Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.
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