WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTVO) — President Joe Biden is set to announce the creation of the first-ever federal office of gun violence prevention, staffed by gun control activists, according to the Washington Post.
The office will be overseen by White House staff secretary Stefanie Feldman, who has specialized in gun control research and legislation. Community Justice Action Fund’s executive director, Greg Jackson, and Everytown for Gun Safety’s senior director for federal government affairs, Rob Wilcox, are expected to have key roles.
The administration has failed to move gun law reforms through Congress that would ban so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
“A White House office of gun violence prevention would build on the already tremendous record of President Biden and Vice President Harris on gun safety,” said Peter Ambler, executive director of a gun control group, Giffords, according to POLITICO. “This has been a top priority of ours for years, and it would provide an important center of gravity for leadership across the administration as the President and Vice President implement the historic Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and continue to push Congress to pass legislation to save lives. The hiring of Greg and Rob would show how seriously this administration takes its responsibility to address this crisis.”
Biden has called for gun restrictions and reforms that would mandate background checks and remove immunity from gun manufacturers, who could be prosecuted if their products are used in mass shootings. The president has said the reforms would penalize gun manufacturers who “knowingly put weapons of war on our streets.”
The creation of the new office is seen as a response to a letter sent to Biden in January, from 117 activist groups, which demanded a $5 billion fund for community violence intervention programs, enforcement of a ban on foreign-made weapons, tighter regulations on firearms marketing, and education campaigns on gun safety, according to Fox News.
Congress did pass the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which Biden signed into law, in response to mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, in 2022.
The creation of a federal office of gun violence prevention would circumvent the legislative body.