President Biden is considering executive action to force new gun control measures and avoid a gun-debate logjam in Congress, the White House said Tuesday.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki did not specify what unilateral moves Mr. Biden was contemplating, but she said he had already explored the options.
“The way he sees is that there are a number of levers that any president of the United States can use, and he as vice president was leading the effort on determining executive actions that could be taken on gun safety measures, it’s something that he has worked on, he’s passionate about, he feels personally connected to,” Ms. Psaki told reporters.
Mr. Biden as vice president in the Obama administration spearheaded an unsuccessful effort to pass a universal background check for gun purchases.
Ms. Psaki said the president now feels a sense of urgency to tackle both gun control and violence after a man with an AR-15 type of semiautomatic rifle opened fire Monday at a Boulder, Colorado, grocery store, killing 10 people.
“We are considering a range of levers, including working through legislation, including executive actions to address, obviously, not just gun safety measures but violence in communities, so that has been under discussion and will continue to be under discussion,” said Ms. Psaki.
Earlier, Mr. Biden called on the Senate to immediately take up House-passed measures that would expand background checks for gun purchases. He also called for a ban on rifles such as AR-15s which are sometimes referred to as assault rifles.
Police identified the suspect in custody for the Boulder shooting as Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa. He was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder.