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Biden Considering Using Executive Action For Gun Control. What Are The Political And Legal Considerations?




US President Joe Biden speaks about the Colorado shootings in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on March 23, 2021.
US President Joe Biden speaks about the Colorado shootings in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on March 23, 2021.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

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The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing Tuesday on proposals for gun control. It is unclear whether any of the bills up for consideration — most of them involving more restrictive background checks — would have made a difference in the Colorado case. A 21-year-old man charged with killing eight people in the Atlanta area last week had purchased a 9 mm handgun hours before the murders, prompting advocates to push for longer waiting periods for purchases.

In brief remarks responding to the shooting, Biden urged Congress to move quickly to close the loopholes in the background check system and to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines — an effort that would be even more difficult to achieve politically. According to a police affidavit, the Colorado shooter had purchased an assault rifle six days earlier. According to reports, White House Spokeswoman Jen Psaki has said Biden is considering using executive action, which wouldn’t need approval from Congress. Today on AirTalk, we talk about the various gun control efforts and what executive action could mean politically and legally. Do you have thoughts or questions? Give us a call at 866-893-5722. 

With files from the Associated Press

Guests: 

Anita Kumar, White House correspondent and associate editor for POLITICO; she tweets @anitakumar01

Adam Winkler, professor of law at UCLA where he specializes in constitutional law, the Supreme Court and gun policy; he tweets @adamwinkler