Biden can sidestep Congress and pressure gunmakers to stop selling military weapons to civilians: columnist
US President Joe Biden and US First Lady Jill Biden visit a memorial near a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, where 10 people were shot dead(AFP)

President Joe Biden could make an end-run around Congress to reduce gun violence, according to a new column by Trump biographer Timothy O'Brien.

Congress may soon pass a modest gun-safety measure in response to recent massacres in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, but the president could issue an executive order that would pressure gunmakers to stop marketing military-grade weapons to civilians, argued the Bloomberg columnist.

"Sales of military-grade firearms need to be curtailed as soon as possible — and without waiting on Congress," O'Brien wrote. "President Joe Biden should issue an executive order preventing the departments of Defense, Justice, Homeland Security and Treasury — any federal agency — from awarding contracts to small-arms manufacturers that sell comparable weapons to average citizens. Gunmakers would be forced to choose with whom they do business: soldiers or citizens."

However, sales figures show that the vast majority of gunmakers' revenue comes from consumers, who have more small arms than law enforcement or the military, but police and soldiers are a valuable marketing partner for firearms manufacturers.

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"Perhaps the executive order could apply contractual limitations only to military-style assault weapons," O'Brien wrote. "Hunters could still get their rifles. Sporting enthusiasts could have their guns. People who want to carry a modest firearm to protect themselves wouldn’t be affected. The police could still get the firepower they need. But potential mass shooters wouldn’t have access to the kind of weapon used at Uvalde and other horrific crime scenes."