FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — On Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced a range of actions targeting rising gun violence as he says the country is seeing a spike.
“It has spiked since the start of the pandemic a year ago,” Biden said. “Crime historically rises during the summer and as we emerge from this pandemic with the country opening back up again, the traditional summer spike may even be more pronounced than it usually than it usually would be.”
His plan is to target law-breaking gun dealers, provide federal resources to police departments for gun-crime enforcement and allow communities to repurpose millions of dollars of federal coronavirus relief funding for programs to help prevent gun violence. Biden stated his administration would have “zero tolerance” for gun violence.
Third District Representative Jim Banks (R-Indiana) had this to say about President Biden’s plan.
“Portland saw a 533% increase in murders, over 10 times the average rise. The problem isn’t guns and it isn’t COVID either. It’s violent rioting and the Defund the Police movement, both of which were supported, financially and rhetorically, by the Biden administration. The worst part about Democrats’ own responsibility is that it’s now impossible for the White House to work to reduce violence in America. They’d have to denounce everything they stood for less than a year ago.”Third District Representative Jim Banks (R-Indiana)
WANE 15 reached out to Indiana Senator Mike Braun (R) and Senator Todd Young (R) for comment and at the time of this publication has not response to WANE 15’s request.
During President Biden’s speech, Biden focused on the larger cities facing a rise in crime including New York, Chicago and Baltimore. But how will the new plans impact Fort Wayne and surrounding cities and counties in Northeast Indiana and Northwest Ohio?
Local leaders say they don’t know simply because the plan is so new. Area gun stores and victims advocates groups also said it was too soon to tell.
And there are a lot of unanswered questions. How will Biden’s plan impact the departments facing a hiring crisis? With federal coronavirus relief funding going to programs to help prevent gun violence, which local programs will be funding? Will the money be kept for the larger cities or will smaller departments be impacted by the plan.
WANE 15 reached out to the White House to get the answers. At the time of publication officials are still working on the finding the answers.
Other issues discussed during Biden’s speech included the topic of mental health funding, job funding so teenagers will “pick up a job not a pistol” and the Violence Against Women Act.