Biden takes executive action

By Justice Dickey, Guest Writer

Last Tuesday, President Joe Biden visited the community of Monterey Park, California, where 11 individuals were killed after a gunman opened fire during a celebration of the Lunar New Year at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio on Jan. 21.

Biden used this visit to announce an executive order that will increase background checks for gun sales, encourage the effective use of extreme risk protection orders (often referred to as “red flag” laws) and ensure U.S. law enforcement agencies are utilizing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act that was signed into law on June 25, 2022.

In his announcement, Biden spoke to the people of Monterey Park and the American public: “I’m here with you today to act.” 

Biden proceeded to outline the changes that came with the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the widest-ranging gun violence bill to be passed in nearly 30 years. The act expanded background check requirements for individuals under 21 years of age and extended federal firearms-related restrictions to individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors. 

That bipartisan bill also established new criminal offenses for straw purchasing of firearms, or individuals purchasing a firearm on behalf of another who is legally unable to make the purchase, and trafficking in firearms. 

Photo courtesy of

Biden explained that he hopes to further advance the work from this bill with a new Executive Order on Reducing Gun Violence and Making Our Communities Safer.

“Today, I’m announcing another executive order that will accelerate and intensify this work to save more lives, more quickly,” he said.

The executive order draws heavily on ideas from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. In his speech, whichmimicked the language of the executive order, he pushed increased public awareness and use of red flag orders and safe storage laws. Biden also addressed the uptick in firearms stolen during shipping and advocated for increased direct federal support for communities affected by gun violence.

The executive order calls for government agencies to develop proposals explaining how the federal government can better support communities affected by gun violence. Biden expects proposals to account for long and short-term support solutions. These proposals, according to the order, should also recommend any necessary resource allocation from the federal government and associated agencies.

The executive order has continued to fuel animosity among some who believe it violates the second amendment. Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen has begun preparing a lawsuit against the Biden Administration over the new executive order, calling the action “draconian gun control measures.”