Biden Changes Gun Regulations Following Tragic Incident in Charlotte
News

Biden Changes Gun Regulations Following Tragic Incident in Charlotte

President Joe Biden | Credits: Getty Images

United States: In the wake of a tragic incident in Charlotte, claiming the lives of four law enforcement officers and injuring four others, President Joe Biden passionately implored Congress to enact stricter gun regulations. “Enhancing safeguards for our law enforcement officers is paramount,” emphasized Biden in a statement released late Monday evening. Initially advocating for increased funding directed towards law enforcement, he swiftly redirected attention towards firearms.

“Congressional leaders must decisively act to outlaw assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, mandate secure firearm storage, and institute universal background checks along with a national red flag law,” pressed Biden. “The time for action is now.” During a press briefing on Tuesday, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings revealed the discovery of an AR-15 and a .40 caliber handgun at the scene of the tragedy.

THE TRAGIC INCIDENT

The fatal altercation unfolded around 1:30 pm when the US Marshals Fugitive Task Force attempted to execute warrants at a residence on Galway Drive. Among the casualties were a US marshal, two officers from the NC Department of Adult Corrections, and a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer, as reported by The Charlotte Observer.

Four additional individuals sustained injuries while responding to the incident. An exchange of gunfire ensued between law enforcement and the suspect, resulting in the shooting of 39-year-old Terry Clark Hughes Jr., who later succumbed to his injuries. Twelve officers have been placed on administrative leave as per standard protocol after discharging their service weapons. Hughes was wanted for illegal possession of a firearm as a felon and felony eluding, according to CMPD.

Two other individuals were apprehended, with law enforcement officials stating during a Monday press conference that they are fully cooperating with the ongoing investigation.

RECENT MASS SHOOTINGS IN THE US

Biden’s request for Congressional actions has the same point as words voiced by different people, particularly those in office, after other mass shootings prior to that. During the same year, in the wake of the attack in the city of Raleigh that took at least five lives and injured a number of people, Biden actively worked to ensure the ban on assault weapons. Today’s incident in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the 132nd mass shooting in the country in the 2022 calendar. www.gunviolencearchive.org records the events. Since 2020, the US has reported for every year 600 or more incidents of mass shootings.

GUN CONTROL INITIATIVES

Rep. David Cicilline, a Democrat representing Rhode Island, introduced a bill banning assault weapons in the US House on February 1, 2023, garnering 206 cosponsors, including six of North Carolina’s seven Democrats. Although referred to the judiciary committee, no further action was taken. Similarly, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, introduced a comparable bill in the Senate on January 23, 2023, with 45 cosponsors. It, too, was referred to the judiciary committee without further action. Feinstein has since passed away.

For both bills, Democratic lawmakers comprised all cosponsors, with the exception of Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who aligns with Democrats. Members of Congress have proposed bills both supporting and opposing Biden’s gun legislation demands, but these have encountered similar outcomes.

LEGISLATIVE CHALLENGES

Support for federal gun regulation though bipartisan has different critical issues. In 2022, however, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) working in concert with Sen. Thom Tillis (R- Mecklenburg County), offers the most comprehensive gun legislation which passes Congress in three decades, as outlined by The Charlotte Observer.

The shootout at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 schoolchildren and two teachers were tragically shot and killed, prompted the introduction of a 20-page bill by these people who had lobbied for the legislation. The Bill’s main focus is on providing better mental health services, improving school safety, and reinforcing background checks for firearm purchases. Tillis mentioned that some of the Second Amendment enthusiasts were upset with the bipartisan effort. However, it seems that lawmakers consciously set aside the partisan division to find consensus.

Tillis deplored the PreTBON response of the President, saying, “It is so sad that President Biden is trying to find an excuse for this tragic attack of the courageous officer who served our country only for the sake of advocating for gun control measures that wouldn’t have stopped that because the assailant was a convicted felon and he had no legal rights to possess or carry a firearm.”

In contrast, Tillis advised Biden to join and support the initiative that involves the passage of bills such as the Justice for Fallen Law Enforcement Act and the Protect and Serve Act by the lawmakers which have the aim/objective of making the federal prosecutors powerful to handle the issue of criminal, violent criminals who specifically target, assault or kill the law enforcement officers. Tillis feels sympathy with the families of the gunmen and hopes that those who recovered from injury know about his mercy.

“By this harrowing incident, the entire Nation has a clear idea of the magnitude of the risks Law Enforcement faces every single day doing their job, including situations like when serving arrest warrants against violent criminals,” Tillis said. He again referred to his disapproval of a ban on semi-automatic ammunition, and Rep. Budd, who owns the store and shoots range, also said against the Bill forwarded by his party leader and emphasized that she completely supports 2nd Amendment rights that are imagined as infringements.

Budd extended his condolences to the families of the slain law enforcement officers via social media and conveyed his support to both the US Marshals Office and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, as outlined in reports by The Charlotte Observer.

In response to Biden’s call for stricter gun policies, a spokesperson for Budd’s office remarked, “Senator Budd advocates for preventing firearms from falling into the hands of dangerous individuals without infringing on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners – something President Biden’s recycled gun control proposals fail to accomplish. Rather than engaging in partisan rhetoric, President Biden should address elements within his party advocating for police defunding and promoting violence.” Rep. Alma Adams, a Democrat from Charlotte, urged for legislative improvements to prevent future tragedies like the one in Charlotte, emphasizing the imperative for action amidst collective anguish.