Biden to announce executive actions on guns, name ATF nominee

Brenda Watkins
April 8, 2021

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has said more than 30% of the illegal weapons it has confiscated in some areas of California are "ghost guns", not now regulated as firearms requiring background checks.

Chipman, Biden's ATF pick, now serves as senior policy adviser at Giffords, the gun control advocacy group led by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.

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

The official said Biden would continue to advocate for legislation and called the administration's planned actions on Thursday initial steps.

Prior to that, Chipman 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.

Moving from asks to direct actions, the Biden-Harris administration also said it will order the Department of Justice to issue a proposed rule to stop the circulation of "ghost guns", referring to the common nickname for legal and extremely popular home-built firearm frame and receiver kits.

COVID-19 vaccination appointments
The changes to the vaccine booking process mean moving into Phase 3 of its four-phase vaccination plan, the statement said. People between 55 and 65 looking to get the Astra-Zeneca vaccine from their local pharmacy will not be able to book online .

This new decree from an administration already infamous for both its disdain for American gun owners and its willingness to skirt the legislative process, could seek to force law-abiding firearm parts and non-firearm objects to be subject to federal firearms laws, and buyers of these parts to be treated as firearm purchasers. It is now run by Acting Director Regina Lombardo.

Chipman and a White House spokesman both declined to comment. He also said the group is looking forward to continuing to work with the Biden administration on further gun control measures, but it's unclear what next moves the White House, or lawmakers on Capitol Hill, will be able to take.

During his campaign, Biden promised to prioritize new gun control measures as president, including enacting universal background check legislation, banning online sales of firearms and the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. These guns do not have commercial serial numbers and are hard to track. 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. Chipman is a gun owner himself.

It's a position that advocates say will be key to implementing the nation's gun laws and addressing gun violence.

Gun control is a divisive issue in the United States, which has experienced a significant number of deadly mass shootings at schools and other public venues for decades.

"The president will have more to say tomorrow", Psaki told reporters. But since taking office as president, he's focused heavily on other issues.

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