Firearms in the US
US President Joe Biden on Saturday morning signed into law legislation approved by Congress to tighten gun control in the country. The ceremony took place at the White House.
The initiative he signed would provide grants to states to temporarily seize firearms from individuals deemed by authorities to be a danger to themselves and others. It also prohibits people convicted of domestic violence offences from acquiring firearms for at least five years. This right, however, is subject to reinstatement if the citizen does not commit any violent acts after this period.
The law also requires the FBI to contact state and local law enforcement agencies for more stringent background and background checks on firearms purchasers under the age of 21. However, it is envisaged that this provision will lapse 10 years after the law comes into force.
Finally, the document suggests that purchasing firearms on behalf of a person who is banned from doing so would be a federal crime, clarifies registration requirements for firearms outlets and authorises the allocation of about $15 billion for school security and mental health treatment.
The details of the new law were agreed by senators from both parties during a month-long consultation process. The initiative represents a compromise between Republicans and Democrats. Politico newspaper called the document "the most significant congressional response in about 30 years" to the massive fatal shootings in the country. For his part, Biden stressed that it was the first "after 28 years of inaction" by Congress to begin addressing gun violence in the United States.
The US National Rifle Association, which supports the Republican Party, strongly opposed the bill. The right to own firearms is guaranteed to Americans by the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.