Gun control: Biden to sign executive order on background checks

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US President Joe Biden is set to issue an executive order that aims to increase the number of background checks conducted before firearm sales. It aims to move the US “as close to universal background checks as possible without additional legislation”. The Democratic president will sign the measure during a visit Tuesday to Monterey Park, California, where a gunman killed 11 people in January. Action on gun control appears unlikely in a divided Washington. Last year, Mr Biden signed a cross-party gun violence reduction measure into law and he has repeatedly asked Congress to do more about what he calls an “epidemic”.  But his call for an assault weapons ban, universal background checks on gun sales and repealing gun manufacturers’ immunity from prosecution are unlikely to make headway while Republicans control the US House of Representatives. Mr Biden’s executive order – a law a US president can enact without Congress – acknowledges this political reality and lays out a series of actions within his authority, beginning with the expansion of background checks.(BBC)…[+]