by Savannah Dewberry
PHILADELPHIA, PA – Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner released a statement last Thursday, announcing his support of the Biden-Harris administration’s new plan to prevent and reduce gun violence.
“There is no rhyme or reason for what makes victims of gun violence — they are people who shop for groceries, go to concerts, watch TV, play basketball or softball – but there is one universal factor: a gun,” said Krasner, referencing former gun violence victims.
“Similarly, people who engage in gun violence come from every kind of background – they are children, seniors, have lengthy criminal histories, have no criminal history at all, they are university professors, they are former pro football players. The only thing they all have in common is a gun,” he added.
This statement was in response to President Biden’s recent announcement of the administration’s plans to crack down on gun violence. Last week, Biden called the issue of gun violence in America “an epidemic” and “an international embarrassment.”
The action plan proposed a rule for the Justice Department to curb the sale of “ghost guns.” which are kits that assemble guns from pieces. No background check is needed to purchase a kit, and none of the pieces come with serial numbers, which makes tracking the users of these firearms an issue for law enforcement.
“Anyone from a criminal to a terrorist can buy this kit, and in as little as 30 minutes can put together a weapon,” said Biden on Thursday.
In 2019, an estimated 10,000 ghost guns were recovered by law enforcement according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
“Giving people the ability to purchase in bulk deadly weapons without trackable serial numbers — no government ID needed – is insanity,” said Krasner. “It is simply common sense to make sure all firearms are regulated and traceable, and that they be kept out of the hands of people who have no business accessing deadly weapons.“
He continued: “I am proud of my office’s 85 percent conviction rate for shooting homicides [pre-pandemic, before courts closed], but the vast majority of shootings and gun homicides are not resulting in the arrest of shooters. We cannot hold accountable individuals we do not have in our custody.”
Along with the ghost gun rule, the administration’s action plan also urged a “red flag” model legislation for states. Red flag laws allow family members or law enforcement to petition for court orders that would briefly prohibit people from purchasing or accessing firearms if it’s believed they present a danger to themselves or others.
Also in the action plan, the administration announced its future investment in “evidence-based community violence interventions, citing the American Jobs Plan that proposes to invest $5 billion over eight years to community violence intervention programs, as well as five federal agencies that will make program changes to support these intervention programs.
A proposed rule from the Justice Department on stabilizing braces was also mentioned in the action plan.
The rule would make it clear that when a stabilizing brace is used on a pistol, it effectively turns the weapon into a short-barreled rifle. Such a stabilizing device was apparently used by the alleged Boulder shooter, last month. Stabilizing devices can make firearms more accurate and stable, while still keeping them easily hidden.
Biden called on Congress to make more aggressive actions to reduce gun violence, saying “enough prayers, time for action.”
Savannah Dewberry is a student at the University of San Francisco. She is pursuing a media studies major with a minor in journalism. Savannah Dewberry is an East Bay native and currently lives in San Francisco.
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