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USA: Biden's actions on gun violence 'will save many lives'

Guns on display in a Walmart store in Louisiana in 2019 © Amnesty International

New measures on ‘ghost guns’ and community intervention among those being introduced

Rampant gun violence has recently seen slaying of women of Asian descent and shoppers murdered in Colorado

‘These actions will save many lives’ - Ernest Coverson

Responding to US president Joe Biden’s announcement of a new package of measures designed to curb rampant gun violence in the country, Bob Goodfellow, Acting Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, said: 

“Today’s actions from President Biden represent a resounding victory for communities, front-line organisations, gun violence survivors and all Americans. 

“For too long, the way the US government has addressed the issue of gun violence has been negligent at best, and disastrous, at worst.

“Gun violence remains one of the primary issues threatening the human rights of communities across this country. 

“These actions are a crucial first step in ensuring that US government agencies are truly prepared to prioritise people over guns.”

Ernest Coverson, End Gun Violence Campaign Manager at Amnesty International USA, said: 

“Today, many Americans will feel genuine hope for the possibility of ending gun violence in the United States. 

“These actions will save many lives, especially those in Black and brown communities. We stand with the president and urge lawmakers in Congress to work with us to do more to make gun safety a reality for all.”

Today’s package of measures includes:

*Increasing available federal funding for community gun violence intervention programmes through the American Jobs Plan, Medicaid funding, as well as through various government agencies

*A proposed rule from the Department of Justice to help stop the proliferation of “ghost guns”

*Comprehensive, annual reports from the Department of Justice on the trafficking of firearms 

*Having the Department of Justice issue a rule making clear that any stabilising device effectively turning a pistol into a short-barreled rifle is subject to the requirements of the National Firearm Act

These moves follow several recent, high-profile mass shootings - most notably one in Georgia in which an armed assailant killed eight people, including six women of Asian descent, and another in Colorado where ten people were shot dead in a supermarket. 

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