President Joe Biden is hosting a “celebration” of a new bipartisan law meant to reduce gun violence that, after just 16 days in effect, already has been overshadowed by yet another mass shooting.
The impotent law, passed after recent gun rampages in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, set new requirements for people aged under 21 to buy guns, encourages state action to remove firearms from domestic abusers, and permits local authorities temporarily take weapons from people judged to be dangerous.
But the South Lawn event on Monday morning comes a week after a gunman in Highland Park, Illinois, killed seven people at an Independence Day parade, a stark reminder of the limitations of the new law in addressing the American phenomenon of mass gun violence.
Biden on Saturday invited Americans to share stories of how they’ve been impacted by gun violence, tweeting that “I’m hosting a celebration of the passage of the Safer Communities Act.”
The law is the most significant firearms violence measure Congress has approved since enacting a now-expired assault weapons ban in 1993.
But gun-control advocates — and even White House officials — say it’s premature to declare victory.
“There’s simply not much to celebrate here,” said Igor Volsky, director of the private group Guns Down America.
“It’s historic, but it’s also the very bare minimum of what Congress should do,” Volsky said. “And as we were reminded by the shooting on July 4, and there’s so many other gun deaths that have occurred since then, the crisis of of gun violence is just far more urgent.”
Volsky’s group, along with other gun violence advocacy groups, was set to host a news conference on Monday outside the White House calling on Biden to stand up a dedicated office at the White House to address gun violence with a greater sense of urgency.