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President Biden Announces Executive Order to Reduce Gun Violence and Expand Mental Health Access

by Joseph Peters | Mar 17, 2023

On Wednesday, March 14, 2023, President Biden issued an Executive Order aimed at reducing gun violence in America. Last year, with the number of mass shootings on the rise, President Biden signed into law the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the first gun violence reduction legislation in 30 years. To continue the Administration’s efforts to reduce gun violence, this Executive Order would increase the number of background checks for firearm purchases, ramp up accountability for gun manufacturers, and improve federal coordination for mental health services for grief and trauma.

The President made the comparison that just as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would come into areas devastated by natural disasters to provide support, the Administration plans to establish mental health support for grief and trauma for communities after a tragedy caused by gun violence. Last week, the President released his FY2024 Budget and during Wednesday’s announcement, Biden called on Congress to include funding that would expand access to mental health services in the budget.

In addition to President Biden taking steps to improve federal mental health support for survivors, victims, and their families, first responders, and communities impacted by gun violence, under the Executive Order the Administration will also increase the number of background checks in an effort to prevent individuals with a felony or history of domestic abuse from purchasing a firearm. This will hold firearm sellers accountable for complying with background check requirements, in turn reducing the number of felons and domestic abusers from being able to purchase firearms.

The Executive Order also calls for heightened public awareness for “red flag” laws and safe storage of firearms. The District of Columbia and 19 states have red flag laws. These laws allow civilians to flag dangerous or suicidal behavior and petition a court to temporarily remove firearms from the possession of the individual that has been flagged.

The Biden administration will also hold the gun industry accountable by requiring the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to conduct an independent government study looking into gun manufacturers marketing towards civilians, specifically minors. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) will be required to release records of firearms dealers cited for violation.

For more information or if you have any questions on the White House Executive Order, please contact the ACA Government Affairs and Public Policy team at