Biden turns his focus to gun violence as Democrats try to shed ‘defund the police’ label

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from CNN,

President Joe Biden visited New York City on Thursday after a spate of headline-grabbing violent crimes, hoping to turn the politically fraught issue of crime into a new focus on combating gun violence.

As Democrats grapple with how to tackle a problem that has been used against them by Republicans with some success in past elections — and is shaping up to be a key issue in the midterms this fall — Biden elevated his party’s work and proposals to combat illegal guns onto the national stage.

“Every day in this country, 316 people are shot, 106 are killed and six NYPD officers have been victims of gun violence so far just this year … 64 children injured by gun violence so far this year, 26 killed. So enough. Enough is enough because we know we can do things about this,” the President said during his stop at NYPD headquarters for a Gun Violence Strategies Partnership meeting.

The President also reaffirmed his call on Congress to pass gun laws, like universal background checks, and reach bipartisan agreement on the fiscal year 2022 appropriations bill — which includes significant funding for the strategies he’s proposing.

During the event, Biden laid out how his administration will build on the comprehensive strategy to combat gun violence he unveiled last summer amid a surge in violent crimes, announcing new steps the Department of Justice is taking to build on his plan. Those new efforts include the launches of a national ghost gun enforcement initiative as well as a national drug-related violence reduction initiative. Attorney General Merrick Garland has “directed all US attorneys in the United States to prioritize combating gun trafficking across state lines and city boundaries,” Biden said, noting that the Justice Department will be sending additional resources to help shut down weapon pipelines.

Tackling gun violence is seen as a priority for both parties and a possible area where Democrats can build political momentum going into the elections.

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