U.S. President Joe Biden issued an executive order Tuesday calling for additional gun control measures and stronger implementation of last year’s “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act,” which included enhanced gun background checks for individuals under 21 years old and funding for red-flag laws.
Also called “emergency risk protective orders,” red-flag laws allow law enforcement per a judge’s order to confiscate firearms from anyone they believe is at risk of committing a crime but has yet to do so.
Back home in Texas, Cornyn came under fire for joining Democrat lawmakers in D.C.
At the state GOP convention, the party’s platform committee passed a resolution condemning Cornyn’s gun control compromise. The resolution criticized several elements of Cornyn’s proposed legislation and referred to red-flag laws as “a pre-crime punishment of people not adjudicated guilty.” Later at the event, Cornyn was booed by delegates while trying to deliver a speech.
Biden’s order now instructs six federal agencies to “undertake efforts to encourage effective use of extreme risk protection orders (red-flag laws), partnering with law enforcement, health care providers, educators, and other community leaders.”
He is also seeking to crack down on federal firearm licenses (FFL), which are issued to businesses involved in firearms transactions. Biden instructed the U.S. attorney general to clarify who is required to hold an FFL and prevent “former FFLs whose licenses have been revoked or surrendered from continuing to engage in the business of dealing in firearms.”
Additionally, Biden called on Congress to ban “assault weapons” and “high-capacity magazines” as well as institute universal background checks and gun storage requirements.
Texas Gun Rights responded to Biden’s decision with a challenge to the administration:
Gun grabbers can celebrate Joe Biden's speech all they want.
We're not giving them up.
— Texas Gun Rights (@TXGunRights) March 15, 2023
Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association recommended that the administration refocus their efforts elsewhere: “Crimes are committed by criminals. Until President Biden and his allies decide to go after violent criminals, violence will continue to spiral out of control as it has. The focus of our laws and efforts should be on the criminal element and not on law-abiding Americans.”
Defending Texans’ gun rights—including from red-flag laws—is a Texas GOP priority for the ongoing legislative session.