A coalition of major gun safety groups is pressing President Biden to appoint a gun czar and declare a national emergency over gun violence. They also want concrete policy proposals beyond his pleas to Congress for an assault weapons ban. In a letter to Biden, the groups are building a pressure campaign ahead of the president’s State of the Union address next week, Politico reports. The coalition of 117 organizations called for a series of executive actions and for the White House to detail how it plans to implement the historic gun legislation the president signed last year. “For a president who ran on one of the most comprehensive gun violence prevention strategies in probably American history, who has repeatedly said that he will do everything in his power to help solve this crisis, he’s simply left too many solutions on the table,” said Igor Volsky of Guns Down America. “He has a real obligation to live up to his promises and live up to his word and do everything and anything he can to make progress.”
The letter by the coalition — also led by Brady United, Community Justice Action Fund, March for Our Lives and Newtown Action Alliance — underscores the degree to which progressive-leaning institutions aren’t content to let Biden rest on his accomplishments as he begins gearing up for a likely reelection bid. In the early days of Biden’s presidency, many of the same groups sought executive actions from Biden, frustrated he hadn’t come out as aggressively as he promised on the campaign trail. The president has taken a slew of executive actions, and his administration has invested in community violence intervention. This month, the administration announced a new rule to tighten regulations on guns with stabilizing braces, used by shooters in Boulder, Co., and Dayton, Oh. Already in 2023, there have been 41 mass shootings in which four or more people were injured or killed, according to the Gun Violence Archive. At least 69 people have been killed, and that’s not counting the thousands dead this month due to other acts of gun violence or firearm suicide.