U.S. President Joe Biden has signed into law, new gun control reforms passed by congress following a spate of mass shootings. The new rules include tougher checks on younger buyers of weapons, as well as extra funding for mental health programmes.
This is the first major federal gun reform in three decades in the USA, this happens days after the Supreme Court expanded gun rights. Biden acknowledged that the reforms did not go as far as he had hoped.
Biden says, “The message to us was that we do something, how many times we heard that, just do something. Well, today, we did. I know there is much more work to do, and I am never going to give up, but this is a monumental day.”
The Supreme Court on Thursday declared for the first time that the U.S. Constitution protected an individual’s right to carry a handgun in public for self-defence. Gun control has long been a divisive issue in the nation with several attempts to put new controls on gun sales failing time after time.
The new legislation includes provisions to help the states to keep guns out of the hands of those deemed to be a danger to themselves or others and blocks gun sales to those convicted of abusing unmarried intimate partners. It does not ban sales of assault-style rifles or high-capacity magazines.
The law does take some steps on background checks by allowing access, for the first time, to information on significant crimes committed by juveniles. It also cracks down on gun sales to purchasers convicted of domestic violence. It provides new federal funding to states that administer “red flag” laws intended to remove guns from people deemed dangerous to themselves and others.
Biden said he would host an event in July for victims of gun violence to mark the bill’s signing. The President also repeated his criticism of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Friday, which eliminated the constitutional right to abortion nationwide, and said his administration was going to focus on how states implemented the decision and make sure they did not violate other laws.
Video: Discussing the gun violence following Texas shooting in the U.S: Adele Kirsten