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Less than a month after mass shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, and Boulder, Colorado, left 18 people dead, President Biden called gun violence an “international embarrassment,” called for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and announced a series of executive actions aimed at restricting access to firearms.

“Enough prayers,” he said in the Rose Garden Thursday. “Time for some action.”

Biden insisted that none of his executive actions violate the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms, noting that even the First Amendment has its limitations. He called on Congress to pass a national extreme risk protection order law, or “red flag” law, and announced an executive action directing the Justice Department to draft model legislation that would make it easier for states to pass such laws, meant to bar people from accessing firearms if they pose a threat to themselves or others.

Other aspects of Biden’s order are aimed at stopping the proliferation of homemade “ghost guns” that lack serial numbers, investing in community-based violence mitigation, and ensuring that the Justice Department publishes an annual report on firearms trafficking.

The president also urged the Senate to approve House-passed legislation that would require background checks for gun purchases at gun shows, close a loophole that allows people to buy guns without a completed background check if the check isn’t processed within three days; and reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

The recent gun violence has not been limited to Atlanta and Boulder. Earlier today, former NFL player Phillip Adams allegedly shot and killed five people before killing himself. 

After his talk, Biden shared an elbow bump with former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was shot during a 2011 assassination attempt. “The idea that we have so many people dying every single day from gun violence in America is a blemish on our character as a nation,” he concluded.

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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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