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Biden Announces New Gun Control Measures, Calls Gun Violence In America 'International Embarrassment'

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- President Joe Biden on Thursday called gun violence in America, "a blemish on our national character," as he announced new gun control measures.

Advocates in our area say more can be done, but not without help from Congress, CBS2's Tony Aiello reported.

The crowd in White Plains stood at a monument to a heroic man shot dead in 1968. Among them was a mother who was touched by gun violence more recently.

"It is a pain that never goes away. It is unbearable," Nadine McKenzie said.

McKenzie's 13-year-old daughter Shamoya was killed by a stray bullet in Mount Vernon in December 2016.

Shamoya was one of the thousands of victims Pres. Biden says deserve to be honored by action on gun control.

"Gun violence in this country is an epidemic, and it's an international embarrassment," Biden said.

The president announced a half-dozen anti-gun violence executive actions, including orders for the Justice Department to draft "red flag" legislation that states can model to keep guns out of the hands of people facing mental health issues.

The department will also have 30 days to create new rules addressing "ghost guns," which are self-assembled weapons that do not require a serial number.

Biden also wants a 60-day review of how stabilizing braces for pistols are regulated. Investigators said Ahmad Alissa had one on the gun he used to kill ten people in Boulder, Colorado in March.

"I'm going to use all the resources at my disposal as president to keep the American people safe from gun violence," Biden said. "But there's much more that Congress can do to help that effort."

Advocates say passing legislation to strengthen background checks would do that.

"Right now, there are too many loopholes," said Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah. "We have very basic checks that are done if you buy from a licensed gun dealer. But so many guns are bought from non-licensed gun dealers."

The National Rifle Association said the Biden administration exposed an anti-gun agenda.

Legislation seems unlikely with an ideological divide in Congress. But a bipartisan group of senators is working to build consensus on measures including stronger background checks.

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