States must take up the gun-safety fight

Maura Intemann/Amanda – Another round of mass public murders has put gun safety back on the national agenda. On Thursday, President Biden pledged determination without surcease — while announcing several relatively minor measures. Speaking in the Rose Garden, the president said he had ordered the Department of Justice to devise a way to crack down on un-serial-numbered “ghost” guns that can be bought without background checks and assembled from kits or 3-D printers, and to further regulate stabilizing braces that effectively turn pistols into short-barrel rifles. He also promised DOJ would prepare a model statute for states that want to enact a so-called “red flag” law, which authorizes judges to order the removal of firearms from people they deem a threat to themselves or others. That’s all good as far as it goes — but it doesn’t go particularly far. Gun-safety advocates expect the president to shortly announce that the administration will attempt to use regulation to narrow the currently nebulous definition of private sellers, whose gun sales aren’t subject to federal background checks, at least not under national law. That would be more significant; though there is no authoritative figure, estimates are that at least one in eight gun purchases comes without a background check. The president also called for Congress to outlaw assault-style weapons, ban large capacity magazines, and eliminate the immunity from liability that gun manufacturers enjoy. He further urged lawmakers to close the “gun-show” loophole that allows so-called private sellers to peddle firearms without […]

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