7 Ways Biden Could Go It Alone on Gun Violence Prevention

7 Ways Biden Could Go It Alone on Gun Violence Prevention

President-elect Joe Biden campaigned on one of the most extensive gun reform agendas in American history. He pledged to ban the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, institute a voluntary gun buy-back program, and direct more than $900 million in funding to community-based violence intervention programs. Biden won’t be able to do all that on his own. He’ll need the support of the House, which remains under Democratic control, and the Senate, where the majority is in question. Early January’s runoff elections in Georgia will determine the balance of power in the Senate — or if there will be a 50-50 split in the chamber, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote. Under a Republican Senate majority, many of Biden’s gun reform proposals are likely to be dead on arrival. And even a best-case scenario for Democrats does not ensure they will advance. If Democrats manage to gain control of the Senate, the filibuster rule and centrist Democratic Senator Joe Manchin may present roadblocks. Early in his career, Biden said gun regulation was ineffective. Several decades — and one notorious crime bill — later, he’s pushing the most expansive reform platform in history. In either scenario, the Biden administration isn’t without options. Although the president doesn’t have the power to change existing laws or enact new ones on his own, he has the authority to direct agencies, set priorities, appoint leadership, and more. And Biden’s campaign signaled his willingness to act even if his […]

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