President Biden will announce Friday that he is establishing the first Office of Gun Violence Prevention in the White House.

"Because thoughts and prayers are not enough," the president wrote on social media.

The new office is designed to build on the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act he signed last year by speeding up its implementation and coordinating support for communities and individuals impacted by gun violence.

What You Need To Know

  • The White House will establish its first-ever Office of Gun Violence Prevention

  • Vice President Kamala Harris will oversee the office and policy adviser Stefanie Feldman will serve as director

  • The office will expedite implementation of last year's Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and look for additional lifesaving actions 

  • In 2021, almost 49,000 people died from firearms in the United States

“Every time I’ve met with families impacted by gun violence as they mourn their loves ones, and I’ve met with so many throughout the country, they all have the same message for their elected officials: ‘do something,’” President Biden said in a statement. "It’s why, last year, I signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to keep guns out of dangerous hands, and have taken more executive action than any President in history to keep communities safe. But as I’ve said before – while these are important steps, they are just the first steps toward what is needed."

Every day in the United States, 106 people die from gun violence and another 215 are injured, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. In 2021, almost 49,000 people died from firearms.

Vice President Kamala Harris will oversee the new office and Biden policy adviser Stefanie Feldman will serve as director. The office will be funded with monies Congress has approved for the White House.

“The mandate we have from the president is to do more, to find additional actions we can take,” Feldman said during a press call with reporters Thursday afternoon.

"Every family, in every community, should have the freedom to live and to thrive," Harris said. "We know true freedom is not possible if people are not safe. This epidemic of gun violence requires urgent leadership to end the fear and trauma that Americans experience every day."

"Our promise to the American people is this: we will not stop working to end the epidemic of gun violence in every community, because we do not have a moment, nor a life to spare," she added.

In a video posted to Instagram on Friday, Harris thanked the organizers, activists and leaders "who understand that living free from gun violence should be a right" for making the announcement possible.

"We're going to work on this together, we're going to continue to fight for reasonable gun safety laws, and for the ability of all people to live their best lives, free from fear, free from violence," Harris said. "Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do."

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is designed to prevent individuals under the age of 21 who are prohibited from owning guns from purchasing them through the use of enhanced background checks. The new Office of Gun Violence Prevention plans to work directly with state legislators and governors to change their laws to make sure they’re responsive to the federal requirement, Feldman said.

The office will also work to find additional lifesaving actions and expand partnerships with states and cities, encouraging the use of red flag laws that permit state courts to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person who may present a danger to themselves or others.

The president "knows we can make a lot of progress by encouraging legislative progress at the state and local level," Feldman said.

Biden is also calling on Congress to take additional actions to prevent gun violence including banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines; requiring safe storage of firearms; requiring background checks for all gun sales; eliminating gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability; and enacting his Safer America Plan to put more police officers on the streets for community policing efforts.