U.S. gun violence: Joe Biden to target 'ghost guns'


In addition to relatively modest measures on the politically hyper-sensitive issue, Biden will announce his nomination of David Chipman, a gun-control proponent, to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - a central agency in the fight against gun violence.

President Biden, in what could very well be a high watermark for oppressive executive action-based gun control efforts, is said to be planning severe restrictions that are likely to violate the Second Amendment rights of millions.

One action is a proposed rule from the Justice Department to stop the proliferation of so-called "ghost guns" that lack serial numbers and are hard for law enforcement to trace when they are used in crimes. The model is meant to give individual states a starting point for enacting their own laws. The shooter in Bolder, Colo., last month used a stabilizing brace. Sixty days will also be provided for the DOJ to develop model "red flag" legislation that would allow friends and family members to identify an individual as a potential danger, thereby temporarily preventing the person from accessing a firearm.

The Justice Department will issue an annual report on firearms trafficking. An administration official argued that this will give policymakers the information they need to help address firearms trafficking.

"Gun violence takes lives and leaves a lasting legacy of trauma in communities every single day in this country, even when it is not on the nightly news", the White House said in a statement.

President Biden has so far failed to deliver on the gun control promises he made as a candidate, but that could be set to change on Thursday. "Other executive actions remain unclear".

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Reiterating the president's call for Congress to "pass legislation to reduce gun violence", the administration has introduced "its own steps" to "save lives". According to The Associated Press, he "spent 25 years as an agent at the ATF, where he worked on stopping a trafficking ring that sent illegal firearms from Virginia to NY, and served on the ATF's SWAT team".

ATF leaders have historically faced trouble getting confirmed in the Senate. The last Senate-confirmed head of the agency, B. Todd Jones, who was named by President Obama, stepped down in 2015, and acting directors have run the agency since, limiting its ability to pursue new programs.

The Washington Post reported that according to two sources, Biden has selected David Chipman to serve as director of the ATF. Regina Lombardo, appointed under Trump, is now the acting director.

Biden's actions follow three recent mass shootings, and the administration official suggested there could be additional actions in the weeks and months to come.

At a press conference in late March, Biden indicated that he was focused on legislative priorities other than gun control, such as his infrastructure plan. Gen. Merrick Garland, are relatively limited in scope, but mark a sharp shift in course from the Trump administration, which consistently deferred to the National Rifle Assn. and other gun-rights groups and opposed measures to expand gun regulation.