WASHINGTON, D.C.—The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) applauds President Biden’s suite of six actions to tangibly address the root causes and forms of gun violence. These are important steps to stem the nation’s gun violence epidemic.
Among the actions, President Biden on April 8 directed the Department of Justice (DOJ) to write rules that will reduce the proliferation of "ghost guns"―homemade firearms that are often made from parts bought online and do not have traceable serial numbers.
President Biden instructed DOJ to create a new rule that explicitly states that ghost guns are to be treated as firearms that must have serial numbers and be subject to background checks. Relatedly, Biden’s executive action seeks to limit access to stabilizing braces, accessories that can be used to convert handguns into rifles.
Another executive order in the suite requires DOJ to develop and make public recommended standards for "red flag"or extreme risk laws for states to use as guidelines. These are state-level directives that keep hand guns out of the hands of people who are in crisis and may be a threat to themselves or others. Such laws are seen as a way to prevent gun-related suicides and intimate partner violence.
While we support and applaud President Biden’s initial actions, comprehensive gun safety legislation is still urgently needed.
Most Americans agree that gun violence in this country is out of control. NASW urges Congress to enact comprehensive gun safety legislation that responds to gun violence as the public health crisis that it is. The recent, tragic mass shootings in Georgia, Colorado and California reminds us all that gun violence has become a “new normal.” NASW joins with the President, Congress and advocates calling for an end to gun violence that we cannot allow the new normal to replace the valuing of human life.
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.