The White House will announce the first-ever federal office to prevent gun violence, sources tell The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is creating the first-ever federal office of gun violence prevention, according to two people familiar with the plans.
The office will coordinate efforts across the federal government and provide assistance and guidance to states experiencing rising gun violence, while taking the lead in implementing bipartisan gun legislation signed into law last year. Biden tentatively plans to announce the new efforts through an event Friday at the White House, said the people with direct knowledge of the plans and who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
The office fulfills a key demand of gun safety activists who have banded together as a coalition to endorse Biden for president in 2024, an effort by the White House to keep the issue at the forefront while the president pushes for a ban. – Called “assault weapons” and urges Congress to act.
“Creating an Office of Gun Violence Prevention in the White House will mark a turning point in how our federal government responds to the pandemic that is plaguing every state and every community in America,” said Chris Brown, president of the Brady Gun Safety Group. , who has defended the office since 2020.
“Addressing this pandemic will require a whole-of-government approach, and this new office will ensure the executive branch is focused and coordinated on proven solutions that will save lives.”
Greg Jackson, executive director of the Community Justice Action Fund, and Rob Wilcox of Everytown for Gun Safety are expected to take on roles in the newly created office, which will be overseen by White House Staff Secretary Steve Feldman, the people said. The Washington Post first reported the White House’s plans.
“There are few people who care more about the work of gun violence prevention than President Biden,” said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who has drafted legislation with Rep. Maxwell Frost, D-Fla., that would create such legislation. office. “Creating a White House office dedicated to this fight will save thousands of lives and strengthen the federal government’s implementation of the bipartisan Safer Communities Act.”
Firearms are the number one killer of children in the United States, and so far this year 220 children under the age of 11 have died from firearms, and 1,049 children between the ages of 12 and 17 have died. As of 2020, the US firearm death rate for those under the age of 19 is 5.6 per 100,000. The next comparable country is Canada, with 0.08 deaths per 100,000.
Most Democrats, 92%, want gun laws to be stronger, in line with their views in a July 2022 University of Chicago Harris/AP-NORC poll. But Republicans’ desire for more expansive legislation fell to 32% from 49% last summer and independents . Support also decreased slightly to 61% from 72%.
However, the poll found that despite the political divide, both sides believe it is important to reduce the mass shootings that have plagued the country. As of Monday, there have been at least 35 mass killings in the United States so far in 2023, killing at least 171 people, not including the shooters who died, according to a database maintained by the AP. Press and USA Today in partnership with Northeastern University.
This puts the country on pace for mass killings faster than in any other year since 2006, according to the database, which defines mass killing as the killing of four or more people, not including the perpetrator, within 24 hours. a period.
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