Biden on Possibility of Sweeping Executive Order on Guns: ‘I Don’t Wanna Emulate Trump’s Abuse of the Constitution’

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President Joe Biden appeared on Wednesday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, where he sat down with the host for a 23-minute interview on (among other things) the governmental response to persistent mass shootings.

At the top of the interview, Kimmel introduced Biden as “the reason we all got a cavity search tonight” before diving into the litany of issues presently facing the U.S. Around the 5:21 mark, Kimmel asked about demanding “every senator” to sit with the families of recent mass shooting victims, prompting an answer from Biden about voting.

“Here’s what has to happen … You’ve got to make sure that this becomes a voting issue,” he said. “It’s gotta be one of those issues where you decide your position on the issue [as a] senator or candidate for house or senate on what we’re gonna do with assault weapons. … I mean, what you say on those things is gonna determine how I’m gonna vote for you. It should be one of those issues.”

Kimmel then asked Biden directly about taking sweeping action of his own, namely in the form of issuing an executive order.

“Trump passed those out like Halloween candy,” he said, asking Biden why he can’t take the same approach when it comes to guns.

“Well, I have issued executive orders within the power of the presidency to be able to deal with everything having to do with guns, gun ownership, whether or not you have to have a waiting period. All the things that are within my power,” Biden said. “But what I don’t wanna do—and I’m not being facetious—I don’t wanna emulate Trump’s abuse of the constitution and constitutional authority. And I mean that sincerely because I often get asked, ‘Look, the Republicans don’t play it square. Why do you play it square?’ Well, guess what? If we do the same thing they do, our democracy will literally be in jeopardy.”

Kimmel pushed back, saying that—while he understands that argument—the current situation is more akin to playing a game of Monopoly with someone who “won’t pass go and won’t follow any of the rules.”

See the full interview up top.

While the Biden administration has previously launched limited executive actions aimed at gun-related issues, advocates for widespread reform have called on the president to do more.

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