The Department of Justice announced Monday it will take steps to reduce gun violence by curbing the use of stabilizing devices that convert pistols into rifles.
The DOJ announcement follows up on the executive actions President Joe Biden signed in April, which gave the agency 60 days to act. The DOJ issued a notice of a proposed rulemaking saying using the devices to convert pistols into short-barreled rifles is subject to the National Firearms Act, which poses stiff regulations on short-barreled rifles.
“Today the Department of Justice announced two new steps to stem the epidemic of gun violence in our country, following through on the president and attorney general’s announcement in April of a set of initial actions,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday.
Psaki added the man who killed 10 people in a Boulder, Colorado, grocery store in April used a pistol with a stabilizing device.
The DOJ also published a model legislation for states to craft extreme risk protection orders or red flag laws, which authorizes courts to bar those having a mental episode or who have a restraining order against them from accessing a firearm. Currently, 19 states and Washington D.C. have red flag laws.
However, those laws only go so far. Michael Lawlor, a professor at the University of New Haven said red flag laws are a good tool, but won’t work without a comprehensive system of gun control and regulations.
“In Indiana, they have the red flag law … but they don’t have the mechanism to make it difficult to get out and get more guns,” Lawlor told CNN.
There have been more than 240 mass shootings this year in which 275 people have been killed and 1,001 people have been injured. The rise in mass shootings has also corresponded to a rise in gun sales across the country including a significant rise in sales among women and African Americans.
Texas lawmakers are pushing a bill that will allow adults over 21 to carry a handgun without a license, previous training, and without demonstrating proficiency in using the weapon. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has already committed to signing the bill when it hits his desk.