Democratic Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, two of President-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet picks, have a history of advocating for strict gun control.
Raimondo, Biden’s pick for Commerce Secretary, pushed for a package of firearms bills in February of 2019, including a so-called “assault weapons” ban, a prohibition on “high-capacity” magazines, and a permanent ban on 3D-printed guns.
The governor also led measures to require gun sellers to transmit firearm purchase applications to local police departments, require safe gun storage in homes, and prohibit the carry of loaded rifles and shotguns on public roadways.
“One year ago tomorrow, we were here at an event very much like this. We introduced a slate of common-sense gun-safety legislation [that] we know would make Rhode Island safer,” Raimondo said when she introduced her gun legislation. “And do you know what happened with those bills? No action.”
“The legislature sat on their hands, as have people in Congress and in the Senate in Washington. So we are here again … and we’ll be here again next year if that’s what it takes.”
Walsh, Biden’s pick for Labor Secretary, has also called for strict gun control in the past. The mayor, alongside Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey, revealed a comprehensive firearm restriction bill in 2018 called the Making America Safe and Secure, or MASS act. It would give monetary incentives for states who enact forms of gun regulation.
The bill would have allowed the Justice Department to set aside $20 million annually to award states who implement firearms reform, Boston Magazine reported. Walsh also encouraged Congress to adopt licensing mandates before citizens could purchase firearms, mirroring laws in his home state of Massachusetts, which has some of the most stringent gun regulations in the country, according to the local outlet.
“Our gun safety bills are a model for other states and, I believe, for the United States Congress to follow,” Walsh said at the time the bill was introduced. One shooting is one too many shootings.”
“Young people in our neighborhoods across our city face this violence every single day. I hope Congress will look at Boston and Massachusetts as an example of how to move forward and stop the violence.”
Raimondo and Walsh join a growing list of at least seven Biden cabinet picks who have advocated for stricter firearm laws in the past, the DCNF’s review found.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Dr. Vivek Murty, former Obama-era security adviser Susan Rice, former South Bend Mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and former Democratic Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm have all called for tougher firearm regulations before their appointments to Biden’s administration, the DCNF reported in mid-December.
Biden, who is set to be inaugurated on Jan. 20, has said he plans to end the sale of so-called “assault weapons” and “high-capacity magazines” in addition to instituting red flag legislation and ending liability protections for gun manufacturers and sellers, according to his campaign website.