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tv   President Biden Attorney General on Gun Control  CSPAN  April 8, 2021 11:54am-12:34pm EDT

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expand the public option. lower medicare down to 55 or 60, or 50, or whatever. put federal workers into the public option, make them part of the program. if they do the math, it will be more realistic to join the public option than to continue with private health insurance. people will be driven to something that looks more like medicare for all. i want people to get access to health care. the problem is it is not. >> the podcast is called the attitude. you can find it online. thank you for your time. >> always a pleasure.
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>> we are alive at the white house, waiting for an event on gun violence prevention. he will be joined by attorney general merrick garland. live coverage on c-span. [applause] v.p. harris: i have seen gun violence up close. i have looked at autopsy photographs, seen with my own two eyes what a bullet can do to
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the body. i have held hands, the hands of parents who have lost a child. i have seen children who are traumatized by the loss of a parent or sibling. i have sought my entire life to pass reasonable and -- to pass reasonable gun laws. what are we waiting for? we are not waiting for a tragedy. we have had more tragedy than we can bear. the solutions exist. people on both sides of the aisle want action, real people on both sides of the aisle want action. all that is left is the will and
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the courage to act. [applause] president joe biden has the will and the courage to act. [applause] as a united states senator, joe biden took on the gun lobby not once, but twice, and he won. in 1993, he worked to pass the brady handgun violation prevention act. it established a background check system and has kept more than 3 million firearms out of the hands of dangerous people. a year later, he worked to pass another law to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines for 10 years.
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as vice president, joe biden led the efforts to reduce gun violence. we were reminiscing he and i talked back then about his work. i was attorney general of california. his work resulted in nearly two dozen actions, from narrowing the loophole, to expanding funding for mental health services. as you will hear, president joe biden is a leader with great will, great determination, and greater empathy. he has seen the grief of all of those who have lost a loved one to gun violence. it is, for them, for all of us, he will never give up on this. it is my great honor to introduce the president of the
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united states, joe biden. [applause] pres. biden: thank you, madam vice president, thank you very much. we are joined by the attorney general, merrick garland, who i have asked to prioritize gun violence. it is good to see the second gentleman, who is here. it is good to see the first lady, dr. jill biden, who cares deeply about this issue as well. i see so many members of congress, so many who have never given up. so many of you determined to get this done. we have a long way to go. it seems we always have a long
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way to go. today, we are taking steps to confront the gun crisis, and what is actually a public health crisis. nothing i am about to recommend in any way impinges on the second amendment. a phony arguments suggest these are second amendment rights at stake what we are talking about. no amendment to the constitution is absolute. you cannot yell fire in a crowded movie theater and call it freedom of speech. in the beginning, you could not own any weapon you wanted to. in the beginning, certain people were not allowed to have certain weapons. it is bizarre people are saying it is -- to the constitution. gun violence in this country is an epidemic. it is an international embarrassment.
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we saw it again, last night, as i was coming to the oval office. in south carolina, a physician, with his wife, two grandchildren, and a person working at his house were gunned down. so many people sitting here today know that well, unfortunately. in iowa, they know what it is like when the seconds change your life forever. i have had the pleasure of getting to meet, in awful circumstances, many of you who have lost your children, your husband, your wives. they know what it is like to bury a piece of their soul deep in the earth. we understand that. mark and jackie, i want to tell
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you, it is always good to see you, but not under these circumstances. what a lot of people have not been through, what they have been through, they do not understand. it takes courage to come to an event like this. they are determined to make change. mark and jackie, their son daniel was a first grader in sandy hook elementary school. he loved outdoor sports, getting muddy. i have seen my friend, his daughter was a freshman at marjorie stoneman douglas high school. she was an accomplished dancer. i see brandon wolf, his two best
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friends died. greg jackson was caught in crossfire in a gunfight. ica close friend of jill's and mine -- i see a close friend of jill's and mine, gabby giffords was shot and a member of her staff was killed. they are here, their pain is immense. what many of you do not know, if you have gone through a trauma, no matter how much you work to make sure others don't go through it, every time you show up at an event like this, it brings up when you got that phone call, the immediacy of that moment. i mean it. thank you for having the courage to be here, the courage to continue this fight.
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senator blumenthal understands. a lot of the folks here understand it. it takes courage. to turn pain and purpose and demand we take the action that gives meaning to the word enough. enough, enough, enough. what they want you to know, it is not just listen. every day in this country, 316 people are shot every day. 106 of them die every day. our flag was still flying at half staff for the victims of the murder of eight asian american people in georgia, when 10 more lives were taken in a mass murder in colorado. you probably did not hear it, but between those two, less than one week apart, more than 850
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additional shootings. 850 that took the lives of more than 250 people and left 500 injured. this is an epidemic, for god sake. it has to stop. i am here to talk about the steps we are going to take immediately and second, the actions that need to be taken going forward to curb the epidemic of gun violence. i asked the attorney general and his team to identify immediate, concrete actions i can take now without having to go through congress. i am announcing several steps my administration is taking to curb this epidemic of gun violence. i want to rein in the proliferation of ghost gun's.
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these are homemade. built from a kit and include directions on how to finish the far -- to finish the firearm. they have no serial numbers. when they show up at a crime scene, they cannot be traced. buyers are not required to pass background checks to buy the kit, to make the gun. anyone from a criminal to a terrorist can buy this kit and put together this weapon. i want to see these treated as firearms under the gun control act, which is going to require the seller and manufacturers make the key parts with serial numbers and run background checks on the buyers when they walk into by that package. the second action we are going to take, in 2000, the bureau of
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alcohol, tobacco, and firearms released a report about the firearms tracking in america. it was an important tool when i was in the senate and beyond, to stop firearms being diverted into dangerous hands. today, with online sales and ghost guns, tracking methods have changed. we have to adjust. we have to ask the justice department to release a new annual report. this will help policymakers address firearms tracking as it is today, not as it was yesterday. we want to treat pistols, modified with stabilizing braces, with the seriousness they deserve. it makes the pistol a lot more accurate, as a mini rifle.
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it is more lethal, turning into a short barreled rifle. that is what the alleged shooter in boulder appeared to have done. the national firearms act requires a potential owner pay fees, submit their name and other identifying information to the justice department, just as if they were to purchase a silencer for a gun. during my campaign for president, i wanted to make it easier for states to adopt protection order laws. they are also called red flag laws. these laws allow police or family members to petition a court in their jurisdiction and say i want you to remove from
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the following people any firearm they may possess because they are a danger. they present a danger to themselves and others. the court makes a ruling. to put this in perspective, more than half of all suicides involved the use of a firearm. when a gun is not available, and -- when a gun is not available, attempted suicide rates drop drastically. every single month, an average of 53 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner. the violence against women's act has been a struggle to keep moving.
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red flag laws can stop mass shooters before they can act out their violent plans. i am proud that the red flag law in my home state was named after our son, who proposed that legislation back in 2013. i want to see a national red flag law. legislation and incentivize states to enact their own red flag laws. i asked the justice department to publish a model legislation so states can craft their own laws right now. it is time to put these laws on the books and protect more people. the attorney general will have more to say in a moment.
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we recognize cities across the country are experiencing historic spikes in homicides. the violence is hitting black and brown communities the hardest. homicide is the leading cause of death in black boys and men ages 15 to 34. the leading cause of death. there are proven strategies that reduce gun violence in urban communities. there are programs that demonstrate reduced homicides in urban communities. many of these have been badly underfunded or not funded at all. gun violence in america, estimated to cost the nation $280 billion a year. how could that be? hospital bills, physical
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therapy, trauma counseling, legal fees, prison costs, and the loss of productivity, not to mention the psychological damage done to children who live in the cities, watching this happen, knowing someone this has happened to. it has a profound impact on our children, even if they are never involved in pulling the trigger or being the victim on the other . for a fraction of the cost of gun violence, we can save lives, create safe and healthy communities, and to build economies that work for all of us and save aliens of american dollars in the meantime. much of it is taxpayer money.
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finally, the bureau of alcohol tobacco, and firearms has not had a permanent director since 2015. today, i am proud to nominate david chipman to serve as the director of the aft. he knows the aft well. he served for 25 years. vice president harris and i believe he is the right person at this moment for this agency. my job, the job of any president is to protect the american people. whether congress acts or not, i am going to use all the resources at my disposal to keep people safe from gun violence. there is more congress can do to help that effort. they can do it now. they have offered plenty of
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thoughts and prayers, but they have passed not a single federal law to reduce gun violence. enough prayers. time for action. the senate should pass three house-passed bills to close loopholes that allow done purchasers to bypass the background checks. the vast majority of american people believe there should be background checks before you purchase a gun. hundreds of thousands of people have been denied guns because of the background checks. what more would have happened? these bills require background checks for anyone purchasing a gun at a gun show or an online sale. [applause] you walk into a store and buy a gun, you have a background check. you go to a gun show, you can
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buy what you want and no background check. second thing is, close the charlston loophole. i've spent time down at the church and charlston. what happened is someone was allowed to get the gun used to kill those innocent people in a church service. if the fbi has not completed the background check within three days, there is a process. it was not done in three days. according to the charlston loophole, you get to buy the gun. they bought the gun and he killed innocent people who invited him to pray with them. reauthorize the violence against women act. [applause]
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close the boyfriend and stalking loopholes to keep guns out of the hands of people found by the court to be an abuser and continuing threat. i held over 1000 hours of hearings to pass the violence against women act. one thing came through. if, in fact, a stayaway order, an order preventing the abuser from coming within a certain distance of the person he or she has abused, and now the idea that they can own a weapon, and have a court order saying they are an abuser? these are the best tools we have two prevent gun violence and save lives. all of these bills have support
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of democrats and republicans in the house. universal background checks are supported by the vast majority of the american people. the vast majority of responsible gun owners, i might add. this is not a partisan issue among the american people. this is a view by the american people as an american issue. i am willing to work with anyone to get these done. it is past time that we act. this has been a hobby horse of mine for a long time. i got it done once. we should also ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in this country. [applause] the 10 years we had it done, the number of mass shootings went down. law enforcement officials have told me and other champions of this legislation -- they
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sometimes feel outgunned by assault weapons with large capacity magazines. there is no reason someone needs a weapon of war with 100 rounds, 100 bullets that can be fired from that weapon. nobody needs that. nobody needs that. we got that done when i was united states senator. it was not easy, but it saved lives. we should eliminate gun manufacturers from the immunity they received from congress. [applause] people here are so knowledgeable , but what people don't realize, the only industry in america, a $1 billion industry, that cannot be sued, exempt from being sued, are gun manufacturers. imagine how different it would
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be had that same exemption been available to tobacco companies who knew about the danger they were causing, that cancer causes. imagine where we would be. this is the only outfit that is exempt from being sued. if i get one thing on my list, give me that one. there would be a come to the lord moment these folks would have quickly. they are not. they are exempt. i know the conversation about guns in this country can be difficult. even here, there is more common ground than anyone would believe. everything being proposed today
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is consistent with the second amendment. there is a wide consensus behind the need to take action. when overwhelming majorities of americans want to see something change and it still does not change, it can be demoralizing to our citizens. it can feel like our political process is broken. it is painful and frustrating that we have not made progress we hoped for. it took five years to get the brady bill passed and more years to pass the assault weapons ban and it saved lives. no matter how long it takes, we are going to get these past. we are not going -- we are going to get these passed. we are not going to give up. we have a responsibility to keep people safe. we can show ourselves and the world democracy works. we can come together to get big things done. i see brave survivors sitting
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here in the rose garden, public servants who devoted their lives to dealing with this, advocates who feel strongly and are pushing every day to make the rational changes, courageous parents and family members. i know the progress is possible. folks, this is just the start. we have a lot of work to do. i know almost everyone of you sitting in the garden here, none of you have given up. i am not going to give up now. 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. let me say to all of you -- god bless you, but most importantly the memory of all of those you have lost two senseless gun violence.
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i would like to hand it over to the attorney general for him to speak and make comments. i hope i get a chance to see some of you after this is over. thank you. [applause] mr. garland: thank you, mr. president, madam vice president. we stand here today, not at a moment of tragedy, but in the midst of an enduring tragedy. this year, guns have taken the lives of an estimated 11,000 of our neighbors, friends, and fellow americans. as the president explains, gun deaths in our country are occurring at a staggering pace. about 100 americans killed every day, hundreds more are wounded.
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i am under no illusions under how hard it is to solve the problem of gun violence. the department of justice alone cannot solve the problem. it is a problem we must all work on together in a collective effort to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and save lives. there is work for the department to do and we intend to do it. today, the department of justice is announcing several steps we will take to keep guns out of the hands of noumenal and reduce the risk of gun violence. we will make sure we understand and measure the problem of criminal gun trafficking in a data-driven way. atf undertook a gun trafficking study. it issued a report that provided information to understand and combat criminal trafficking
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networks. no such study has been conducted since that time. i have directed atf to begin work on an updated study of criminal gun trafficking, that will take into account that modern guns are not simply cast or forged, but can be made of plastic, printed on a 3d printer, or sold in self-assembly kits. we will evaluate how our tools are keeping up with the ties and we will analyze our criminal cases and investigations to determine what they can show us about modern gun trafficking patterns. we expect lessons from the study will help agents, prosecutors, and policymakers tackle modern
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gun trafficking enterprises. we will close a loophole that has contributed to the proliferation of ghost guns. federal law requires manufacturers mark firearms with serial numbers so they can be traced. it requires licensed firearm dealers to run background checks to ensure individuals barred by law from purchasing firearms cannot do so. the emergence of ghost guns threatens both of these objectives. individuals can buy kits that contain almost all or all of the parts they need to assemble a gun. they can put a working weapon together in as little as 30 minutes. they are called buy, build, shoot kits.
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because of a gap in regulations, they may not be considered firearms. they are being made and sold without serial numbers and sold without background checks. within 30 days, atf will issue a rule to plug that gap. to enable law enforcement to trace crime guns and keep those from being sold to those who cannot lawfully possess them. we will make clear statutory restrictions on short barreled rifles applied when certain stabilizing braces are added to high-powered pistols. lawler requires taxation and registration of all short-barreled rifles -- law requires taxation and registration of all short-barreled rifles. some manufacturers market and some individuals purchase certain stabilizing braces, that
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when attached to a pistol, converted into a short-barreled rifle. a weapon that is intended to be fired from the shoulder. such braces make high-powered pistols more stable and accurate while still concealable. within 60 days, atf will issue a proposed rule that will make clear that when a device marketed as a stabilizing device turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle, it is subject to the requirements of the statute. we will publish model red flag legislation for states. red flag laws, as the president explained, allows a petition for court orders that bar people in crisis from accessing firearms if they present a danger to themselves or others.
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19 states and the district of columbia have already made this step. within 60 days, the justice department will publish model legislation that will make it easier for states that want to craft laws permitting such emergency risk orders to do so. we will empower our communities to combat and prevent gun violence. we recognize although law enforcement plays an important role, gun violence is not a problem that law enforcement alone can solve. [applause] communities are an essential partner, and asset and source of resources and ideas. those closest to the problem are a critical part of solving the
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problem. the justice department will make available over $1 billion in funding through over one dozen grant programs that can be used to support evidence-based intervention strategies for reducing gun violence. [applause] such strategies include but are not limited to street outreach, violence interrupter's, and hospital-based violence intervention services. [applause] i have directed all of our grantmaking components to make community violent intervention and prevention a priority. finally, none of these measures were the critical law enforcement work the department does with respect to illegal guns can be effectively carried out without strong leadership.
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that is why the president nominated david shipman to be the next atf director. [applause] mr. chipman has come up through the ranks, spending 25 years in the trenches fighting illegal gun trafficking and criminal enterprises. his extensive experience as an atf agent will prove invaluable, and i look forward to working with him. looking out at many of you is not only a reminder of the tragic toll that gun violence takes on our communities, but also of the resilience and determination that it will take to make our community safer. the department of justice shares your commitment and that of the president and vice president to stopping the plague of gun violence and saving the lives of those we love.
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thank you. [applause] pres. biden: i like to see all of you. thank you, thank you, thank you. let's get to work. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please remain in your seat until the president and state participants have departed. ♪ >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government, created by
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america's cable television companies in 1979. today, we are brought to you by these television companies who provide c-span2 viewers as a public service. >> coming up shortly, the white house press secretary will take questions on president biden's gun proposals with live coverage here on c-span. coming up this afternoon, how speaker pelosi will hold her weekly news briefing. that is at 2:00 p.m. eastern. after, a look at proposals to change the structure of federal courts at 4:00 p.m. eastern on c-span,, or listen with the free c-span radio app. >> congress returns from their holiday resource next week -- recess next week. the senate returns monday at 3:00 p.m. eastern to continue work on the nomination of the deputy transportation secretary, the number two post under pete
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buttigieg. later, senators work on more nominations in the week, including wendy sherman to be deputy secretary of state and the securities and exchange commission chair. the house is back tuesday for legislative business. this week, members are expected to work on equal pay for women legislation and a bill to prevent workplace violence in health-care care and social services workers. president biden's infrastructure and jobs package isn't expected on the house floor until later in the spring or early summer. watch live coverage of the house on c-span, the senate on c-span2 , and follow congressional coverage anytime at or listen on the free c-span radio app. usa today running with a story of this gallup poll that just came out and several other publications as well. that first live reading, more americans identifying that


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