Pres. Biden issues executive order about gun control

March 15, 2023

Do something. Do something big.

President Joe Biden announcing an executive order intended to increase the number of background checks performed during gun sales.

What To Know: Pres. Biden’s speech was given in Monterey Park, California, where a mass shooting occurred amid Lunar New Year celebrations in January. The White House states the goal of the executive order Pres. Biden announced is to increase “the number of background checks conducted before firearm sales, moving the U.S. as close to universal background checks as possible without additional legislation.”

How? Pres. Biden directed federal officials to more closely ensure that businesses selling guns are conducting background checks. The order also calls for Pres. Biden’s Cabinet members to promote safer gun storage, as well as promoting increased appropriate and effective use of “red flag” laws – AKA laws that some states have in which individuals deemed dangerous are temporarily unable to access guns.

Why It Matters: The executive order does not alter government policy. Instead, it more closely directs federal agencies to monitor existing laws and procedures in place. The Associated Press explains this is “a typical feature of executive orders issued by presidents when they confront the limits of their own power to act without cooperation from Congress.” Many consider this Pres. Biden’s way of tackling gun control amid a divided Congress (the House has a Republican majority, the Senate a Democrat majority).

‘It’s just common sense’: President Biden signs new executive action expanding gun background checks (USA Today)

Biden on gun control: ‘Do something, do something big’ (The Associated Press)

Photo Credit: President Biden’s Twitter

by Jenna Lee,