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Baltimore Mayor applauds President Biden's effort to crack down on gun violence

CBS News Live
CBS News Baltimore Live

BALTIMORE -- Mayor Brandon Scott took to Twitter on Tuesday to thank President Joe Biden for the steps he has been taking toward reducing gun violence.

Earlier in the day, Biden announced that he was signing an executive order to fight gun violence.

The executive order mandates that the Attorney General, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Education, and the Secretary of Homeland Security each submit a report to the president within 60 days describing what actions their agencies have taken to implement the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

The act was signed into law in June 2022. It established enhanced requirements for background checks of everyone under the age of 21 attempting to purchase a gun. It provided funding for extreme risk protection orders and other crisis interventions, too.

Scott reacted to Biden's announcement on Tuesday evening, noting that the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act will increase the number of background checks conducted before a firearm sale takes place.

That will keep more guns "out of dangerous hands" by increasing red-flag laws, strengthening efforts to hold the gun industry accountable, and accelerating the ability of law enforcement officers to identify threats and prevent gun violence.

"Baltimore has something to say about tackling the issue of gun violence," Scott said. "In 2022, we seized more guns than in any other year since 2014. Notably, 2600 weapons were seized, including 485 ghost guns. Homicides are down 23% and non-fatal shootings are down 26% year over year."

Biden's executive order takes steps toward reinforcing the act by mandating that the Attorney General to provide clarity on the definition of who is engaged in the business of dealing in firearms.

That clarification will make it more clear who should be required to become federal firearms licensees in order to increase compliance with the federal background check requirement for firearm sales, according to the executive order.

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, among many things, increases mental health resources to help children impacted by gun violence heal from the grief and trauma they experience. 

Additionally, the executive order mandates that the heads of the federal government's various agencies provide data and analysis regarding the use and early effects of the act.

They must describe the additional steps their agencies will take to maximize the benefits of the act, too, according to the executive order.

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