Mayor Todd Gloria speaks at a press conference. Courtesy of the mayor’s office

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria on Thursday praised President Joe Biden’s executive orders designed to stem increasing mass shootings, community bloodshed and suicides in the United States.

Biden and Atty. Gen. Merrick Garland announced a crackdown on self-assembled “ghost guns” and “stabilizing braces,” which effectively turn pistols into rifles, and proposed to make it easier for states to adopt “red flag” laws that identify at-risk individuals who own guns.

Gloria cited ghost guns as a particular problem in San Diego, noting that the San Diego Police seized 210 such weapons last year.

“As a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, I thank the President for including specific regulation on ghost guns, which are untraceable, easy to purchase and can be built at home,” Gloria said.

He called gun violence an “epidemic that has devastated families and torn apart communities in San Diego” and urged Congress to take further steps.

Biden outlined more ambitious goals that he needs the support of Congress to accomplish, including reintroducing a ban on assault weapons, lifting an exemption on lawsuits against gun manufacturers, and passing a nationwide red flag law.

“Today we’re taking steps to confront not just the gun crisis, but what is actually a public health crisis,” Biden said, speaking in the Rose Garden to an audience filled with family members of victims of gun violence.

He noted another mass shooting in South Carolina, where former professional football player Phillip Adams on Wednesday shot and killed a prominent South Carolina doctor, his wife, two grandchildren and another man before taking his own life.

“This is an epidemic, for God’s sake, and it has to stop,” Biden said.

The DOJ will issue a proposed rule on ghost guns in 30 days, and proposed rules on stabilizing braces and a model ‘red flag’ law for states within 60 days.

Garland said the department will also be rethinking the way that it analyzes criminal cases and investigations to try learn more about modern gun-trafficking patterns.

“Modern guns are not simply cast or forged anymore, but can also be made of plastic, printed on a 3D printer, or sold in self-assembly kits,” he said.

Biden said his executive measures are “totally consistent with the Second Amendment” protecting gun rights and said there is “wide consensus behind the need to take action.”

Reuters contributed to this article.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.