She stressed, however, that President Biden is willing to take action on this issue at the executive branch level
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris said Wednesday that President Joe Biden has not ruled out issuing an executive order to combat gun violence, but that Congress should pass gun control legislation to have a longer-term effect.
Speaking on CBS News, Harris said Biden is willing to sign two gun control bills that the House recently passed and urged the Senate to pass them as well.
“There is an opportunity to act on the executive branch, but at the legislative level it would be a permanent solution. If Congress passes the bill, it will become law, and that’s exactly what we’ve been missing,” she said.
Harris added that the U.S. needs widespread background checks and a federal standard for conducting them.
On Tuesday, Biden called on Congress to pass gun control laws as soon as possible and said he could take action on his own to curb mass violence.
On Monday, a gunman shot and killed 10 people at a supermarket in Colorado, and six days earlier eight people were shot and killed at massage parlors in Atlanta. These two incidents raised the profile of the problem.
Biden, who took office in January, pledged during his campaign to take steps to tighten gun control, but has devoted the first few months mostly to fighting the pandemic.
According to a RAND Corporation study, the U.S. has the highest rate of gun ownership among civilians in the world. Last year, more than 43,000 people were killed in firearms incidents in the country.