September 24, 2023
President Biden announced on Friday that his administration is establishing the first-ever White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention as part of ongoing efforts to tackle the national crisis of frequent gun violence and mass shootings. The move by President Biden utilizes executive action to face the issue head-on, as opposed to through reforms proposed to Congress that do not always receive approval. The office will focus on coordinating a gun policy within the Biden-Harris administration and continue pressuring Congress to take effective action toward gun safety amid the epidemic sweeping the nation.
The new office will be overseen by Vice President Kamala Harris, who has been an advocate for gun violence prevention and gun safety since her time as prosecuting attorney in California. Stefanie Feldman, a policy advisor to President Biden on gun violence prevention, has been named Director of the Office of Gun Violence Prevention. Greg Jackson and Rob Wilcox, both gun violence prevention advocates and experts on the issue, will join the office as its Deputy Directors.
“I’ll continue to urge Congress to take commonsense actions that the majority of Americans support like enacting universal background checks and banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines,” Biden said during his announcement. “But in the absence of that sorely needed action, the Office of Gun Violence Prevention along with the rest of my Administration will continue to do everything it can to combat the epidemic of gun violence that is tearing our families, our communities, and our country apart.”
The announcement of the Office of Gun Violence Prevention comes as President Biden is currently campaigning for re-election. He is aiming to appeal to the large number of younger voters who turned out for the 2020 election that are now reenergized by the crisis of gun violence that has persisted since.
Photo courtesy of Jonathan Ernst via reuters.com