Psaki did not specify what action Biden might take.
“We are considering a range of levers, including working through legislation, including executive action,” Psaki told reporters. “That has been under discussion and will continue to be under discussion.”
Biden, addressing the shooting that occurred in Boulder, Colo., and that left 10 dead, said Tuesday he didn’t “want to wait another minute, let alone an hour” to act on gun violence. A shooting six days earlier left eight dead in Atlanta, Georgia.
He didn’t mention potential executive action but implored the Senate to pass a series of House bills that would close loopholes in background checks. He also urged Congress to ban “assault weapons.”
“I got that done as a senator. It brought down mass shootings, we can do it again,” Biden said during remarks at the White House. “We can ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in this country once again.”
“These are bills that received votes with both Republicans and Democrats in the House. This is not and should not be a partisan issue. This is an American issue that will save lives, American lives. And we have to act. We should also ban assault weapons in the process,” Biden said.
The House passed two bills this month to tighten gun control, one that would give authorities 10 business days instead of three to complete a background check before a gun sale. Under current law, gun sales can proceed if a background check takes longer than three days, what’s known as the “Charleston Loophole.” That bill passed 219-210 with only two Republicans supporting it.
Another bill would expand background check requirements to guns bought over the internet, at gun shows or through other private transactions. Eight Republicans joined Democrats in backing the bill.
The Senate would need to garner support from 10 Republicans to clear the filibuster and pass the legislation.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Tuesday he hasn’t spoken without the White House about an assault weapons ban. Such a ban is not part of the pair of House bills that passed earlier this month.
Gun control experts told Fox News last month that Biden could tighten gun control without Congress by using his authority to limit trade.
Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, said that Biden could use the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to tighten regulations. “What we’re expecting him to do is anything with foreign commerce — if the firearm is being imported in or magazine or ammo is being imported in — he could by executive order try to do something in that nature,” Gottlieb said.
Gun control advocates, meanwhile, are calling on the White House to take executive action to expand the background check system by redefining who is in the business of selling guns. They say they want to see the administration reclassify what is considered a gun in an effort to shut down the “ghost gun” market. Ghost guns are not subject to serial numbers or background checks because they are assembled from kits that include one unfinished piece, typically the receiver.