Biden to tout progress of Obama’s executive actions on gun control

Vice President Biden on Tuesday will announce that the administration has successfully implemented 21 of the 23 executive actions proposed by President Obama to combat gun violence.

The speech comes three months after the Senate defeated a bipartisan background check bill, and just over six months after the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn. The address is intended to demonstrate that the White House is prioritizing gun control despite congressional inaction.

{mosads}”Congress must also act,” the White House argues in a progress report set to be released at the Biden event. “Passing common-sense gun safety legislation, including expanding background checks and making gun trafficking a federal crime, remains the single most important step we could take to reduce gun violence.”

According to the administration document, the White House has “completed or made significant progress” on nearly every one of the unilateral steps it announced in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre last year. Still outstanding: Permanent Senate confirmation of acting Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Director B. Todd Jones, and expanding access to mental health care.

The White House said the access to mental health care will be addressed in new federal regulations issued by the Department of Health and Human Services later this year.

But the administration is claiming success on a slew of other projects, including the president’s directive that federal agencies share more information within the federal background check system and expand research efforts into gun violence.

“We are on track to finish the job,” the White House declares in the document.

Biden’s speech comes amid a renewed push by the White House and gun control advocates for background check legislation. Last week, the president and vice president met with families of victims of the Newtown shooting that spurred the administration’s gun push.

“We want them to know as we approach the six-month anniversary of that terrible day, we will never forget and we will continue to fight alongside them,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

It was the president’s first known in-person meeting with victims’ families since a bipartisan gun control bill failed in the Senate. The vote prompted a fiery statement from the president in the Rose Garden, where he was surrounded by some of the same family members.

Obama at the time called it a “pretty shameful day for Washington,” and vowed to press on for a background check bill.

“Sooner or later we are going to get this right,” he said.

Outside gun groups have also stepped up the effort. Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group funded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, bused the families of victims to Washington to hand-deliver messages to lawmakers and meet with press.

On Friday, the organization launched a nationwide bus tour in which family members of gun violence victims plan to stand in front of the hometown offices of lawmakers opposed to gun control.


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