15:14 GMT16 April 2021
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    The debate over gun control has again broken out with renewed vigor after recent mass shootings in Georgia and Colorado, resulting in 17 deaths. The US president on Thursday announced a number of measures to restrict gun use that he is determined to undertake, without waiting for Congress to act.

    West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey pledged to bring a lawsuit against the Biden administration if initiatives to end US gun violence, introduced early the day, are enacted, he said in a statement, issued on Thursday.

    “Defending the Second Amendment remains one of the most important priorities for the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office. I will not allow the far left to run roughshod over our citizens’ gun rights. If President Biden follows through on his proposals, we will be in court very quickly," he said.

    Morrisey said that, although regular shootings and collateral casualties in the US “should pain all Americans,” these “evil acts of a select few should never be a catalyst for stripping the lawful masses of their constitutional rights, especially their right to self-defense and to bear arms”.

    Earlier the day, US President Joe Biden, speaking at the White House Rose Garden, introduced a number of planned measures to slow the spread of a gun violence "epidemic" in the US.

    Biden ordered the US Justice Department to develop regulations on so-called 'ghost guns' - improvised weapons without a serial number that hinder law enforcement's ability to track owners and dealers. The new rules are expected to require a home-made weapon to be manufactured from tagged parts and for sellers and dealers to implement necessary background check for buyers.

    The president also proposed to restrict the use of stabilizing braces that enable a non-automatic weapon to fire in bursts, upgrading it to an assault-type weapon. The latter was formerly restricted in the US from 1994 to 2004 through the use of the Assault Weapons Ban.

    Law enforcement officers sweep the area outside of a King Soopers grocery store, which was the site of a shooting in Boulder, Colorado, U.S. March 22, 2021
    © REUTERS / KEVIN MOHATT
    Law enforcement officers sweep the area outside of a King Soopers grocery store, which was the site of a shooting in Boulder, Colorado, U.S. March 22, 2021

    Biden urged Congress to abolish legal incentives for gun manufacturers, to draft bills to close loopholes that allow people to bypass security checks, completely ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity storage. The White House, according to Biden, will provide funds for programs to reduce gun violence in cities across the country.

    He announced his intention to appoint a former Giffords firearms control advisor, David Chipman, to serve as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

    In addition, he claimed during his speech that these measures do not in any way contradict the Second Amendment of the US Constitution, which guarantees the right of citizens to keep and carry weapons.

    Two recent mass shootings occurred within a week in the US in March. In one, at three spas in Georgia, eight people were killed. Additionally, ten people were shot and killed in Colorado, when a shooter opened fire in grocery store.  

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    Tags:
    second amendment, Joe Biden, gun violence, West Virginia
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