PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - President Joe Biden announced several executive actions on guns Thursday, the same day that two mass shooting events happened -- one in Texas and one in South Carolina. Biden calls gun violence in our country "an epidemic." Not everyone in Arizona is on board with the president's actions; many people say the restrictions won't make a difference when it comes to mass shootings. Others are happy to see some action being taken, even if it's not legislation from Congress.

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords fully supports Biden's executive actions. "So excited! Joe, get her done. Get her done. Get her done," she said after his announcement.

Gun background checks soar to record in March following mass shootings and gun-control bills

The FBI conducted a record number of background checks for firearm purchases in March, a month with several prominent mass shootings that reignited America's conversation about gun control.

One of the announced efforts is restrictions on so-called 'ghost guns' that can be built using parts and instructions purchased online. Charles Heller, a firearms instructor in Tucson, says ghost guns by themselves aren't even weapons because they require so much assembly before they're usable.

"It's a tremendous overreach if you're regulating something that isn't a firearm, and you're saying that it is," he said.

Katey McPherson is a child safety advocate in the Phoenix metro. She has been especially worried about ghost guns, and the access teenagers have to them.

"I think all of it is a step in the right direction," she said. "I think it's long overdue, and I think we also need to look at things in tandem with youth mental health."

Biden also suggested that states have red flag laws when it comes to gun purchases. Heller says they don't work.

"As far as red flag laws, California's had them for many years. Many states have had them for many years, and they've had zero effect,' he said. "The problem is we don't use them."

Just two days before Biden's announcement of gun restrictions, Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation that would prohibit police and sheriffs from enforcing any federal gun laws that violate the Second Amendment. McPherson says she appreciates the governor's concern for the constitution, but hopes he'll align with safety measures that come down from the federal government.

"It's unfortunate when all the adults in the room can't get on the same page in the name of safety," she said.

None of the executive actions are laws passed by Congress, and Biden says there's a long way to go. He's still calling on lawmakers to pass universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons.

 

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