Joe Biden

Statement on the Prevention of Illegal Gun Purchases Under the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act

January 05, 2024

Today is an important milestone in the fight to end the epidemic of gun violence tearing the fabric of our Nation apart. Thanks to the enhanced background checks enacted by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the Justice Department has now successfully denied more than 500 illegal gun purchases by people under 21 years old who presented a danger to our communities.

This historic legislation is working to keep guns out of the hands of young people who shouldn't have them in the first place, for commonsense reasons like criminal records or because they have been determined to be a danger to themselves or others. By interrupting these illegal gun purchases, we are taking action to stop suicides, deadly domestic violence, and mass shootings. Simply put, this legislation is saving lives. And it's part of my broader plan to reduce crime and make our communities safer, including through my American Rescue Plan, which enabled cities and States to invest $15 billion to improve public safety. There's more work to do, but we're making real progress: There was a significant drop in crime in 2023, including one of the largest ever yearly declines in homicides in history.

I am proud to have taken more executive action than any President in history to combat gun violence in America, and I will never stop fighting to get even more done. Congress must enact universal background checks, ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, end the gun industry's immunity from liability, and pass a national "red flag" law. There are already too many empty seats around family tables. It is fully within our power to stop this epidemic.

Joseph R. Biden, Statement on the Prevention of Illegal Gun Purchases Under the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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