With Congress deeply divided, President Joe Biden plans to take action under his executive authority in an attempt to tackle gun violence, following a wave of deadly gunfire and concerns from defenders.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki declined to comment on Biden’s plans during a press briefing Wednesday afternoon, but a senior administration official said Newsweek that the most immediate executive directives that Biden is expected to sign on Thursday would order the Department of Justice (DOJ) to spend the next few weeks developing plans to tackle “phantom weapons,” gun modifications, and measures that states can adopt.
The executive orders are part of a global push Biden is expected to unveil today as he prepares to “tackle the public health epidemic of gun violence,” the official said.
“This is the first round of actions underway as part of President Biden’s gun violence reduction program,” the official said.
Biden signed a series of executive orders shortly after taking office on Jan.20, dealing with topics ranging from the environment to healthcare – largely overturning many of the executive actions of former President Donald Trump. But his supporters and gun control groups have waited for a similar push to tackle gun violence.
Biden is also expected to officially present David Chipman as his choice to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) on Thursday. Chipman was a special agent at ATF for more than two decades before joining the gun violence prevention advocacy group that was formed by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, an Arizona Democrat who left office after being seriously injured in an assassination attempt in 2011.
The Biden administration also planned to redirect some of the existing funding between federal programs for community violence response efforts.
Here’s what its executive decrees, which are not permanent and can be repealed by future administrations, should do:
Ask the DOJ to develop a new rule in the coming month to combat “ghost weapons”.
Biden orders the DOJ to specifically target the so-called “ghost guns” and submit them to a background check.
Ghost weapons are homemade weapons that may not be found.
“Criminals buy these kits which contain almost all of the components and instructions to finish a gun in as little as 30 minutes,” the official said. “Law enforcement agencies across the country are finding more and more problems with them.”
Order the DOJ to produce a rule within two months that would address stabilization changes that can make firearms more dangerous.
The official said the aim was “to clarify that when a device marketed as a stabilizer brace technically transforms a pistol into a short-barreled rifle, that firearm is subject to the requirements of the national firearms law.” , said the official.
Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, who killed 10 people in a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado on March 22, allegedly used a Ruger AR-556 pistol that had been modified with a stabilizer splint, the official noted.
Request the DOJ to draft “model” legislation that states can pass if they want to tackle gun violence at the state level.
The United States House Democratic majority passed several gun measures earlier this year, but they remain without a passage through the Senate, where Democrats hold a razor-thin grip and little chance of success. obtain the Republican support that would be necessary under normal procedures.
With Congress deadlocked, Biden plans to task the DOJ with developing “model” legislation that states will voluntarily pass to try and create some uniformity over “red signal” laws that allow family members concerned or the police to temporarily take arms from people who are reported as a danger to themselves and to others.
“As the President urges Congress to pass legislation that will create an appropriate national red flag law, and also to pass legislation that encourages states to pass red flag laws, the ministry’s model public law Justice will make it easier for states to adopt the red flag laws, ”the official said.