Joe Biden vows to tackle ‘grave threat’ of untraceable ‘ghost guns’ – live | US news

Biden was speaking after Mia Tretta, a teenage survivor of a 2019 shooting at Saugus high school in Santa Clarita, California, recounted her experience of seeing two of her closest friends killed by a fellow student, and suffering a serious stomach injury herself.

“I later learned that we had been shot by a 16-year-old student for reasons I will never know. He had brought his father’s weapon to school. A firearm I would come to know as a ghost gun,” she said.

Tretta went on to sue the seller of the weapon used.

“School shootings with ghost guns are on the rise. And the most lasting thing I have learned other than the loss of friends or the shattering of my youth is that nothing has relieved the pain in my heart like working to prevent more senseless shootings,” she said, praising Biden for “standing up for survivors” and taking “bold, meaningful action to stop the spread of ghost guns.”

Biden hugged Tretta after she spoke, then took the podium acknowledging the presence of so many survivors and victims’ families, and activists working for gun law reforms.

“The loss in this crowd is incalculable. But so is the strength,” he said.

“[You] represent individuals and families all across this country whose lives have been forever changed by a ghost gun. Some made national headlines, many others did not. We honor your strength and your action.

“A year ago this week I instructed the attorney general to write a regulation that would rein in the proliferation of ghost guns because I was having trouble getting past in the Congress, but I use what we call regulatory authority. A year later, we’re here. We keep that promise.”

That Biden is using executive authority to try to enact at least some reform is reflective of the current impasse he faces in Congress, despite Democrats controlling both houses and the White House.

As mass shootings and gun crimes, particularly those committed using ghost guns, have proliferated across the nation, Republicans have held up gun reforms in state houses across the country, as well as in Washington DC.

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