Biden to Launch Plan to Curb Gun Violence Amid U.S. Spike in Crimes

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Biden to Launch Plan to Curb Gun Violence Amid U.S. Spike in Crimes” – below is their description.

    President Joe Biden will launch a comprehensive plan to curb gun crimes, amid a nationwide spike in violent crime that poses a political challenge for the White House.

    Biden will speak about the recent spike in shootings, armed robberies and assaults in a speech on Wednesday, according to officials familiar with the plan who spoke on condition of anonymity before the announcement. The new strategy would allow states and municipalities to tap into coronavirus relief funds to hire police officers under certain circumstances.

    The president also plans to pursue other measures — some through executive action — such as toughening rules for gun dealers, expanding summer programs for teenagers and helping people released from prison find jobs, officials said.

    Biden’s effort comes amid an increase in violent crime, a trend that could stymie his push for Congress to pass a bipartisan police overhaul. Large cities have seen a 30% increase in murders and an 8% rise in gun-related assaults in 2020, according to the officials, who pointed to pandemic-related isolation and loose gun laws as having fueled the spike.

    Polls signal growing unease over crime, a potential liability for Biden and Democrats in next year’s midterm elections. A Yahoo News/YouGov poll released in May found that nearly 50% of respondents said crime is a very big problem in the U.S. About 36% of respondents at least somewhat approved of Biden’s handling of crime, while 44% at least somewhat disapproved.

    Republicans have criticized the president for being soft on crime, saying he has not done enough to repel calls by some on the left to defund police departments. Biden has repeatedly said he does not favor defunding the the police.

    The perception that Democrats are too cavalier about public safety led to the passage of the 1994 crime bill, which Biden supported as a senator. Biden came under fire during the 2020 campaign over his backing of the law, which civil-rights activists have decried as hitting Black and Brown Americans disproportionately hard.

    Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland will also lead a meeting Wednesday at the White House on crime prevention. Among those scheduled to attend are: New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Police Chief Murphy Paul; and the mayors of Baltimore and Miami-Dade County.

    The announcement is an opportunity for Biden to put his stamp on the debate over criminal justice. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that Biden’s strategy on community safety goes hand-in-hand with the effort by allies to reach a deal on a police overhaul.

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