Biden wades back into the politically fraught politics of gun control


A previous version of this post said that the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., happened in 2016. The shooting took place in 2018. This post has been corrected.

Though they joined Biden at the White House on Monday morning to support the administration’s new measures targeting ghost guns, gun-control activists remain skeptical that meaningful gun reform can be achieved in the near term.

In a statement released Monday, March for Our Lives, the organization formed in the aftermath of the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Fla., said that, while its membership applauded Biden’s actions, the activists remain “clear-eyed that in many ways today’s announcement simply brings us to square one.”

The group noted that Biden’s nomination of Steven Dettelbach to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives comes much later than expected — about seven months after his first nominee was pulled from consideration after bipartisan Senate pushback.

“It remains to be seen whether the White House will mount a serious advocacy campaign in the Senate to usher in only the second ATF Director in fifteen years,” the group said. “We’ve yet to see any significant changes to the President’s lobbying strategy on t

his or any other gun violence prevention proposal that would indicate success.”

David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland shooting and a co-founder of March for Our Lives, was in attendance at the White House event Monday.

The activists celebrated Biden’s action to stop the proliferation of ghost guns through the Justice Department, and noted that the move shows that more can be done to address gun violence without going through partisan fights in Congress. For starters, the activists said, Biden could name a “cabinet-level Director of Gun Violence Prevention … without the need for congressional approval.”