For those who are worried about more federal action to restrict Americans’ Second Amendment rights during the remainder of Barack Obama’s presidency, Vice President Joe Biden has some good news.
The Washington Times reported that Biden, speaking at a forum on preventing gun violence, said, “We’re probably not going to get much more done in the next nine months” on gun control. Because of this, he said, state and local officials should pursue gun regulations.
The vice president blamed resistance from the Republican-led Congress for lack of action at the federal level, but urged state and local authorities, “Don’t quit on this.”
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While further federal restrictions might be blocked, Obama did take executive action in January to expand background checks for gun buyers on the internet and at gun shows. He also put forth a federal budget that included the intention of hiring extra federal agents to enforce gun laws.
In addition to the Republicans in Congress, Biden criticized gun-rights groups like the National Rifle Association for opposing mandatory “smart gun” technology, which theoretically would would prevent a firearm from being used by an unauthorized person.
“It’s amazing how the NRA and some gun-owner organizations have gone ballistic, no pun intended, about the notion we should be looking at safe gun technology,” he said.
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Gun-control groups have also advocated funds for federal research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study mental health as it pertains to gun violence, but that has yet to be approved. Gun-rights groups see it as a backdoor way to try to regulate guns.
“We think the criminal misuse of firearms is a criminal justice issue and not a public health issue,” said Michael Bazinet, spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Nevertheless, attorney generals from Massachusetts and several other states are pushing Congress to remove the provision banning the CDC from using funds for any study “to advocate or promote gun control.”
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