MONTEREY PARK, CALIF. –– President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order to increase gun safety while speaking on Monday in Monterey Park, Calif., the site of a mass shooting in January that claimed 11 lives and left nine injured.
The Executive Order aims to reduce gun violence by increasing the amount of background checks conducted before firearm sales. It also promotes federal support for victims and survivors’ families, as it calls on his Cabinet to form a proposal detailing how the federal government can improve its support for communities following a mass shooting.
“It’s just common sense to check whether someone is a felon, a domestic abuser, before they buy a gun,” Biden said.
During his address, Biden honored the victims, who were mostly immigrants, of the California shooting, reciting their names and speaking on their role in the community.
“All of them lived lives of love, sacrifice and service for their families, for their community,” Biden said. “They represent a bigger story of who we are as Americans, embodying the simple truth that is the strength of this nation.”
At the same time, he alluded to the loss that he’s seen in his own life.
“I know what it’s like to lose a loved one so suddenly. It’s like losing a piece of your soul. It’s like a black hole in your chest you feel like you’re being sucked into,” he said.
Biden also called on Congress to take further steps toward gun safety and again spoke on his commitment to banning assault weapons.
“Let’s be clear: None of this absolves Congress from the responsibility of acting to pass universal background checks, eliminate gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability,” Biden said.