Biden’s Presidency is a Historic Victory for Gun Safety, and a Colossal Loss for the NRA — Trump’s Largest Outside Backer in 2016
The Inauguration Clears Path for Executive Action and Legislation that Will Save Lives From Gun Violence
NEW YORK — Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements celebrating the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Calling gun violence a “public health epidemic,” President Biden and Vice President Harris ran on an expansive platform to reduce gun violence, which included requiring background checks on all gun sales, enacting red flag laws, stopping the proliferation of “ghost guns,” prohibiting the sale of assault weapons, and ending immunity for the gun industry. Together, they represented the strongest presidential gun safety ticket in history.
The election of President Biden, along with the election of gun sense majorities in the House and the Senate, clears the path for executive action and legislation to address our nation’s gun violence crisis and save lives. This is also a colossal loss for the newly-bankrupt NRA, former President Donald Trump’s largest outside backer in 2016, which halved its spending for President Trump this election cycle amid unprecedented internal turmoil, and while undergoing multiple investigations.
“President Biden and Vice President Harris have put together the strongest gun safety administration in American history, and we are all safer now that they are officially in office,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Everytown is grateful to count both of them as longtime allies, and we will do everything in our power to help them enact the common-sense gun safety policies the American people are demanding.”
“America is facing an array of crises, including COVID-19, gun violence, and extremism. Fortunately, President Biden is eminently qualified to address them simultaneously,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “We congratulate him and Vice President Harris on their inauguration, and we look forward to standing with them as they continue their legacies of standing up to the NRA to make American families safer.”
President Biden’s history on gun safety demonstrates his unwavering commitment to this issue, which could lead to life-saving executive action and legislation during his presidency:
- He wrote and championed the Violence Against Women Act: Gun violence is inextricably tied to domestic abuse, and President Biden took crucial steps to address this uniquely American crisis when he passed the Violence Against Women Act in 1994. He also supports the bipartisan, House-passed Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019, which would strengthen federal law by closing the deadly “boyfriend loophole.”
- He helped pass the bill that established the National Instant Criminal Background Check System: In 1993, President Biden beat the NRA by passing the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which “established the background check system that has since kept more than [3.5] million firearms out of dangerous hands.”
- He voted against giving legal immunity to the gun industry (PLCAA: Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act): In 2005, President Biden voted against PLCAA –– a gun-lobby bill that passed through Congress, giving the gun industry unique legal immunity from most lawsuits. President Biden was right to vote against this disastrous bill, which has since enabled reckless, negligent, and outright dangerous practices by the gun industry that have cost American lives.
- He helped secure a 10-year ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines: In 1994, President Biden beat the NRA again by working with Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to pass 10-year bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
- He pledged to take swift action on gun safety as a candidate: As a candidate, President Biden put forward an excellent plan to end gun violence, consistently raised the issue in debates, and pledged to act on gun safety within the first 100 days of his administration.
Additionally, in 2019, both President Biden and Vice President Harris participated in Everytown Action Fund’s first-ever Presidential Gun Sense Candidate Membership Forum, held in Iowa, following the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. Last year, Vice President Harris also participated in Everytown Action Fund’s virtual series, “Demanding Women: Quarantine Conversations About Gun Violence.” The series featured conversations with potential vice presidential contenders.