LIVE STREAM: Biden, Harris announce executive action to address gun violence

President Joe Biden speaks during an event on the American Jobs Plan in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Wednesday, April 7, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (Evan Vucci, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

President Joe Biden held a news conference Thursday to announce new steps to address the “gun violence public health pandemic” in the U.S., officials say.

The live stream for this event has ended.

On Thursday, President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Attorney General Merrick Garland announced six initial executive actions that will be taken to address gun violence.

The announcement comes just after high-profile mass shootings in Boulder, Colorado -- which killed 10 people -- and the shootings at three Atlanta-area spas that killed eight people, including six Asian American women.

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“The president is committed to taking action to reduce all forms of gun violence -- community violence, mass shootings, domestic violence, and suicide by firearm,” a White House fact sheet reads Thursday.

“President Biden is reiterating his call for Congress to pass legislation to reduce gun violence. Last month, a bipartisan coalition in the House passed two bills to close loopholes in the gun background check system. Congress should close those loopholes and go further, including by closing ‘boyfriend’ and stalking loopholes that currently allow people found by the courts to be abusers to possess firearms, banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines, repealing gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability, and investing in evidence-based community violence interventions. Congress should also pass an appropriate national ‘red flag’ law, as well as legislation incentivizing states to pass ‘red flag’ laws of their own.”

The initiative marks Biden’s first actions on gun control measures since taking office earlier this year. Following the Boulder shootings, Biden renewed calls for stronger gun laws -- including banning assault weapons and expanding background checks. Many Republicans oppose the measures, and the National Rifle Association blasted the discussions as a rush to “politicize this horrific situation.”

Read: Mass shooters exploited gun laws, loopholes before carnage

Gun violence and mass shootings have been on the rise in the U.S. in recent years. Half of the nation has called for stricter gun laws and has criticized what they called former President Trump’s “inaction” on the issue, while the other half of the nation believes that gun laws should be expanded for gun owners.

Read more: Biden making new moves on guns, including naming ATF boss

You can see the full statement from the White House regarding the announcement here.

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.