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Wed Apr 7, 2021, 08:08 PM

Biden to announce executive actions on guns, name ATF nominee

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is expected to announce Thursday executive actions involving gun control as well as nominate a new head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to a White House official.

The actions will involve regulating "ghost guns," which are homemade guns that do not have traceable serial number, as well as background checks. Biden will also name David Chipman as his nominee to take over ATF.

The announcement comes as Biden faces pressure from Democrats and gun control activists to take action to address gun violence in the wake of recent mass shootings in Georgia, Colorado and California.

Chipman currently serves as senior policy adviser at Giffords, the gun control advocacy group led by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. He previously served 25 years as a special agent at ATF.

Biden's Coming Executive Orders to Include Requiring Background Checks for 'Ghost Guns'

President Joe Biden is expected to include a federal directive mandating background checks for individuals purchasing "ghost guns" this week, alongside a wider series of executive orders addressing U.S. gun violence, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

Ghost guns are handmade firearms, which can be assembled without commercial serial numbers and sold to buyers who have not undergone background checks necessary for retail purchases. In the aftermath of two mass shootings that took place in Georgia and Atlanta last month, a group of Democratic state attorneys expressed concern about the lack of regulations effected to manage ghost gun sales in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.

"This is not a theoretical problem: more and more, criminals are taking advantage of this loophole to obtain guns that are later used in crimes," the letter stated, noting that these firearms are untraceable given the absence of serial identification.

Biden has faced increasing pressure to act on gun control after the spate of mass shootings across the U.S. in recent weeks, but the White House has repeatedly emphasized the need for legislative action on guns. While the House passed a background-check bill last month, gun control measures face slim prospects in an evenly-divided Senate, where Republicans remain near-unified against most proposals.


Biden to take a flurry of actions on gun control

President Biden on Thursday will announce a half-dozen executive actions focused on curbing gun violence, including regulations on home-assembled firearms and the nomination of a gun-control advocate to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The initiatives are the first major actions that Biden will take as president on guns, a top Democratic priority that has only become more urgent after recent mass shootings in Boulder, Colo., and the Atlanta area.

“We know that Americans are dying from gun violence every single day in this country,” a senior administration official, briefing reporters on the condition of anonymity, said Wednesday. “That’s why we are pursuing an agenda that will address not only mass shootings, but also community violence disproportionately affecting Black and Brown Americans, domestic violence and suicide by firearm.”

The White House has suggested that executive actions by Biden would not preclude legislation on Capitol Hill, where a pair of bills expanding background checks passed the House last month, with support from nearly all Democrats and a handful of Republicans. The senior administration official emphasized that Biden could issue more executive actions on gun violence in the future.


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