Miami Herald

Biden to unveil actions on guns, including new ATF boss


President Joe Biden will unveil a series of executive actions aimed at addressing gun violence on Thursday, delivering his first major action on gun control since taking office.

He’ll also nominate David Chipman, a former federal agent and adviser at the gun control group Giffords, to be director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to senior Biden administra­tion officials.

Biden has faced increasing pressure to act on gun control after a 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 background­check bill last month, gun control measures face slim prospects in an evenlydivi­ded Senate, where Republican­s remain nearunifie­d against most proposals.

Biden is expected to announce tighter regulation­s requiring buyers of so-called “ghost guns” to undergo background checks. The homemade firearms — often assembled from parts and milled with a metal-cutting machine — often lack serial numbers used to trace them. It’s legal to build a gun in a home or a workshop and there is no federal requiremen­t for a background check.

The president’s plans were previewed by a person familiar with the expected actions who was not authorized to publicly discuss them.

The Justice Department will also issue a proposed rule within 60 days tightening regulation­s on pistol-stabilizin­g braces, like the one used by the Boulder, Colorado, shooter in a massacre last month that left 10 dead. The rule would designate pistols used with stabilizin­g braces as short-barreled rifles, which, under the National Firearms Act, require a federal license to own and are subject to a more thorough applicatio­n process and a $200 tax.

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