Skip to content
The Editors

Biden’s Quiet Progress on Guns

Violence is still at unacceptable levels. But after years of inaction, the federal government is finally waking up.

Now in fully traceable varieties.

Now in fully traceable varieties.

Photographer: Ting Shen/Bloomberg

By almost any measure, the US remains in the grip of a gun-violence epidemic. Since the beginning of 2022, more than 30,000 Americans have died from firearms and another 27,000 have been wounded. There have been numerous mass shootings, including the May 24 massacre in Uvalde, Texas, in which 19 children and two educators were killed. Among developed economies, the US suffers more gun-related deaths per capita than the next eight countries combined.

Despite such grim figures, President Joe Biden’s administration is making quiet, consequential progress on gun safety. In June, Biden signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the first significant gun-reform legislation in a generation, which toughens penalties for gun trafficking, expands background checks for gun buyers under 21, and incentivizes states to adopt “red-flag” laws to keep guns out of potentially dangerous hands. Building on that breakthrough, the administration is now cracking down on another growing threat: “ghost guns.”