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Biden to sign executive order on background checks,  'red-flag laws' at site of LA suburb mass shooting

Photo by Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden will sign an executive order Tuesday meant to expand background checks during a visit to the site of a mass shooting in a Los Angeles suburb earlier this year, NBC and other outlets reported.

The White House said this executive order will bring the United States "as close to universal background checks as possible" without additional legislation, Fox News reported.

"This news would mean fewer guns will be sold without background checks, and therefore fewer guns will end up in the hands of felons and domestic abusers," a senior Biden administration official reportedly told reporters on a Monday briefing call ahead of the announcement.

"I don't believe this will accomplish much in practice. ... There is little hope that [President Biden] will be able to pass any of his gun-control initiatives through Congress," Stephen Gutowski, founder of the Reload, told TheBlaze Tuesday morning.

"This administration also wants to force more people who sell used guns to obtain federal licenses in the same way the Obama administration did. But they are also limited by the legal standards for who is considered to be 'engaged in the business' of dealing guns," Gutowski said.

"It's almost identical to an executive order from the Obama administration that sought to tighten enforcement of gun dealer licensing requirements."

President Biden's previous executive orders were more substantive, but also faced heavy scrutiny in court, Gutowski explained. A federal judge has already largely blocked Biden's "ghost gun" ban, for example, and his pistol brace ban seems to be headed for the same fate.

In addition to expanding the statutory definition of who is "engaged in the business" of firearms sales, the order would reportedly also encourage increased the use of "red-flag" laws and safe gun storage, Fox News reported in advance of Biden signing the executive order.

The order will reportedly direct Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, in consultation with the Department of Justice, to "reduce the loss or theft of firearms during shipment."

In addition, the order will direct Attorney General Merrick Garland to address a "loophole" in the background check system by adding clarity to who is defined as "engaged in the business" of selling firearms, according to Politico.

Passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act last summer required anyone who sells guns for profit to be licensed and to conduct background checks on buyers, Politico also reported.

Biden will roll out the executive order at the Boys & Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley, California, the outlet reported. The president will also meet with families and community impacted by the mass shooting in Monterey Park, which killed 11 and injured nine in January.

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