Washington – President Joe Biden is preparing to announce a series of enforcement actions aimed at combating gun violence and will carry out his first major action on gun control since taking office.
Biden will nominate David Chipman, a former federal agent and adviser to the gun control group Gifford, as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on Thursday, according to Biden administration officials.
Biden has increased pressure to tackle gun control after a series of mass shootings across the United States in recent weeks, but the White House has repeatedly emphasized the need for legislative action against guns. The House passed a background check bill last month, but gun control measures face harsh prospects in the evenly divided Senate, where Republicans remain largely unified with most proposals.
Biden will join Attorney General Merrick Garland at the event, with most actions coming from the Department of Justice.
Biden is expected to announce stricter regulations that require “ghost gun” buyers to undergo background checks. Homemade guns are often assembled from parts and milled with a metal cutting machine, but often do not have a serial number used to track them. Making guns at home or in a workshop is legal and there are no federal requirements for background checks.
The president’s plan was previewed by someone familiar with the expected behavior that was not allowed to be discussed publicly.
High-ranking officials confirmed that the Justice Department would issue a new draft rule aimed at controlling ghost guns within 30 days, but did not provide details on the content of the rule.
The Justice Department will also issue a draft rule within 60 days to tighten regulations on pistol stabilization braces, such as the one used by the Colorado Boulder shooter in the massacre that killed 10 people last month. This rule specifies the pistol used with the stabilizing brace as a short-barreled rifle. It requires a federal license to own under the National Firearms Act and is subject to a more thorough application process and a $ 200 tax.
The Justice Department also plans to publish the model Locomotive Act within 60 days, which the government says will make it easier for states to adopt their own Locomotive Acts. Such law allows individuals to petition courts to allow police to confiscate weapons from persons deemed dangerous to themselves or others.
And it will begin to provide more data on gun trafficking, starting with a new comprehensive report on this issue that the Biden administration has not done for more than 20 years.
The president also announces an investment in a community violence intervention program aimed at reducing gun violence in urban communities across five federal agencies.
Administrative officials hinted that there might be more to come from gun management, calling the round of administrative action completed under Garland’s authority within the first few weeks of his tenure as the “first step.” I called.
ATF is currently run by Regina Lombardo’s acting director. Proponents of gun control have emphasized the importance of ATF directors in enforcing national gun law, and Chipman is certain to win praise from them. While serving as Gifford’s senior policy adviser, he spent considerable effort promoting measures to tighten ghost gun regulation and enforcement, reform the background check system, and reduce illegal gun trafficking. It was.
Prior to that, Chipman spent 25 years as an agent at ATF, working to thwart trafficking rings sending illegal guns from Virginia to New York, and worked for ATF’s SWAT team. Chipman himself is the owner of the gun.
He was also an explosives expert and one of the teams involved in investigating the Oklahoma City bombing and the first World Trade Center bombing incident. He was also involved in investigating a series of church bombings in Alabama in the 1990s. He retired from ATF in 2012.
Both Chipman and White House spokesmen declined to comment.
During the campaign, Biden promised to prioritize new gun control measures as president, including the enactment of identification laws, the ban on the online sale of firearms, and the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines. However, supporters of gun control said they were disappointed by the lack of early action, although they were moved by the signs that they were taking the issue from the White House seriously.
But with the announcement of new measures, supporters praised Biden’s first move to combat gun violence.
John Feinblatt, President of Everytown, said: Gun safety.
In particular, Fineblatt praised the move to regulate ghost guns, saying “it will definitely save countless lives,” and praised Chipman as an “irreplaceable person” in the fight against illegal gun trafficking. did. He also said the group was looking forward to continuing to work with the Biden administration on further gun control measures, but it is unclear what White House or Capitol Hill lawmakers could do next.
“I haven’t counted yet,” Biden himself told reporters late last month when asked if he had the political capital to pass a new gun control bill.
For years, federal officials have warned about the growing black market for homemade military-style semi-automatic rifles and pistols. Ghosts’n Guns are appearing more and more in crime scenes, and in recent years more and more when federal agents are buying guns for sting operations from gang members and other criminals.
In many cases, police stations don’t even contact the federal government because they can’t track guns, so it’s hard to know how many people are in circulation on the street.
Some states, such as California, have recently enacted legislation requiring serial numbers to be stamped on ghost guns.
An important component in building an untraceable gun is what is called the lower receiver, which is usually made of metal or polymer. Unfinished receivers (sometimes called “80% receivers”) can be legally purchased online without a license, without a serial number or other markings.
A shooter who killed his wife and four others in Northern California in 2017 was barred from owning a gun, but made his own to evade court orders before rampaging. .. And in 2019, a teenager used a homemade pistol to shoot and kill two classmates at a school in the suburbs of Los Angeles, injuring three.
Biden’s plans for Thursday’s announcement were first reported by Politico.
Associated Press writer Lisa Marie Pain of Boise, Idaho contributed to the press.
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Biden reveals gun behavior, including new ATF boss
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