[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement applauding executive action by the Biden Administration to curb gun violence:
“This is the most significant executive action on gun violence in a generation. These actions set a model of courage and strength that Congress must now match.”
“I am especially glad to see the Biden Administration taking steps to expand the use of Emergency Risk Protection Orders. For years, I have worked to provide additional support for states seeking to help law enforcement take action when there is solid evidence that someone is in crisis — intensely and imminently a danger to themselves or to others. ERPO laws are already on the books in 19 states and Washington, DC and a model bill that provides best practices and critical guidance will help even more states follow suit.”
“The Biden Administration’s action on ghost guns will protect against untraceable, homemade instruments of death that no law abiding gun owner would want. We have seen a dramatic increase in the sale and use of these dangerous DIY weapons since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic making this action all the more urgent. There is no reason that a gun built in your kitchen should be treated any differently that one bought in a store.”
“I applaud the Biden Administration’s “whole of government” approach to a public health epidemic that demands a comprehensive solution. Bold and inclusive investments in evidence-based community-violence intervention programs will directly address the daily toll of gun violence – and its disproportionate impact on communities of color.”
“The commonsense steps the Biden Administration is taking will literally save lives and prevent life-crippling injuries and trauma that ripple through every corner of America. But executive orders from one president can be changed by another, so strong and effective new laws with commonsense steps to prevent gun violence are still a paramount goal.”
“I am also thrilled that David Chipman will be nominated to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). David’s extensive law enforcement experience, including twenty-five years at the agency he’s been nominated to lead, is exactly what ATF needs after six years without a permanent director. David has not only served on the front-lines in the fight against gun violence, he knows the policies of prevention backwards and forwards. ATF needs permanent leadership, having had only one Senate-confirmed director since 2006. I look forward to quick Senate action on this nomination.”
Last week, Blumenthal and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) wrote President Biden asking him to asking him to take executive action to promote and strengthen statutes that authorize courts to issue Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs), including issuing best practices guidance and information on ERPOs to states. Blumenthal’s and Feinstein’s letter is available here.
Blumenthal is one of the Senate’s leading advocates for the expanded use of ERPOs. Blumenthal and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act in 2018, which would establish a federal process to permit family members to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals, and also worked together to develop a legislative framework to provide incentives for the expanded use of ERPOs by individual states. In addition, Blumenthal and Feinstein introduced the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act in 2019.
In March, Blumenthal also joined Feinstein and U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Edward J. Markey (D-MA) in urging President Biden to take executive action to close the “ghost gun” loophole in the Gun Control Act, which allows individuals—including domestic abusers, prohibited buyers, gun traffickers, and domestic terrorists—to buy untraceable, unserialized firearms without a federal background check. A copy of the letter is available here.
Blumenthal is the lead Senate sponsor of the Untraceable Firearms Act, which would include ghost guns and their core building blocks – unfinished frames and receivers – and the gun-making kits used to build them in the definition of “firearm” under federal law. In doing so, online gun kit manufacturers and distributors would be required to comply with the same federal regulations that govern the production and distribution of completed firearms. This includes a requirement that sellers have a manufacturer’s license and put a serial number on the frame or receiver included in each kit, and that purchasers undergo a background check. The bill also incorporates the Undetectable Firearms Modernization Act, which would prohibit firearms that can be easily modified to be pass through metal detectors undetected. A one-page summary of the legislation can be found here. The text of the bill can be found here.