Biden speaks about gun violence as US crime surges

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 7:24 p.m. ET, June 23, 2021
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1:43 p.m. ET, June 23, 2021

Concerns have been rising inside the White House over the surge in violent crime

From CNN's Jeff Zeleny and Kevin Liptak

Police officers investigate the scene of an early afternoon shooting in Olde Town Arvada on June 21, 2021 in Arvada, Colorado. 
Police officers investigate the scene of an early afternoon shooting in Olde Town Arvada on June 21, 2021 in Arvada, Colorado.  Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post/Getty Images

nationwide surge in violent crime has emerged as a growing area of concern inside the White House, where President Biden and his aides have listened with alarm as local authorities warn a brutal summer of killing lies ahead.

Biden plans to address the spike in shootings, armed robberies and vicious assaults on Wednesday afternoon following a meeting with state and local officials, law enforcement representatives and others involved in combating the trend.

He hopes to dampen what has already become a cudgel for Republicans eager to run a "law and order" campaign in next year's midterm elections.

The President is poised to announce a comprehensive crime reduction strategy on Wednesday, officials said, in hopes of reducing gun violence and addressing the root causes of the spike.

He plans to sign executive actions with a particular focus on tamping down gun crimes, according to officials, while again calling on Congress to take steps to enact new gun control laws. He is also set to press Congress to confirm David Chipman as his nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Already, the uptick is becoming a potent political issue for a President who worked over the past two years to carefully calibrate his approach to criminal justice, resisting pressure from the left to support defunding the police while justifying his role in writing major anti-crime bills from the 1990s. Biden entered office with a mandate to his team on reducing gun violence, according to officials, and has been acutely aware that crime rates have been spiking over the past year.

Read more here.

1:46 p.m. ET, June 23, 2021

Biden will announce his gun crime prevention and public safety strategy today. Here are key things to know.

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez

Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

President Biden will announce a comprehensive strategy on violent crime prevention during remarks at 3:30 p.m. ET — with a particular emphasis on gun crimes — amid a nationwide surge in violent crime that's emerged as an area of concern for the White House.

Biden is expected to address recent spikes in shootings, armed robberies and vicious assaults when he announces the details of the crime prevention strategy Wednesday afternoon during a speech at the White House. He'll meet with state and local leaders ahead of his remarks.

Biden plans to sign executive actions with a particular focus on tamping down gun crimes, according to officials, while again calling on Congress to take steps to enact new gun control laws.

Senior administration officials also told reporters Tuesday evening that Biden's plan will rely on using American Rescue Plan dollars for more flexible applications, including hiring law enforcement above pre-pandemic levels or using the funds toward community violence intervention programs. Additionally, Biden is set to press Congress to confirm David Chipman as his nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

According to the White House, Biden's "Comprehensive Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gun Crime and Ensure Public Safety" will focus on five main pillars:

  1. Stem the flow of firearms used to commit violence, including by holding rogue firearms dealers accountable for violating federal laws
  2. Support local law enforcement with federal tools and resources to help address summer violent crime
  3. Invest in evidence-based community violence interventions
  4. Expand summer programming, employment opportunities, and other services and support for teenagers and young adults
  5. Help formerly incarcerated individuals successfully reenter their communities.

Read more about Biden's strategy here.