Biden nominates gun control lobbyist as ATF Director
Apr 08 2021
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 Justice Department also has 60 days to draft model "red flag" legislation for states.
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.
Absent, however, will be any big measures on seeking to tighten overall gun laws, such as more background checks or ending the sale of powerful rifles often used in mass killings.
Standing out is a proposed new rule to "stop proliferation of ghost guns", as firearms built from home kits are known.
The department also will issue proposed rules within 60 days that make clear that devices marketed as "stabilizing braces" that effectively turn pistols into rifles will be subject to the National Firearms Act, which requires the registration of firearms, the official said. Additionally, the DOJ will provide states with red flag laws that allow courts to temporarily seize firearms that belong to people that are deemed "a danger to themselves or others". According to the statement, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms issued a firearms-trafficking report in 2000 that lawmakers still use today to draft policy.
The president is also expected announce that his administration is investing in evidence-based community violence interventions that provides strategies for "reducing gun violence in urban communities through tools other than incarceration", according to a fact-sheet shared by the White House.
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" but they are not now regulated as firearms that require background checks.
When he held his first and only press conference in March, Biden said "it's all about timing" when he explained why he didn't think now was the time to spend political capital on gun reform.
Biden has called on the Senate to pass House-approved legislation requiring more stringent background checks for all gun sales and transfers and giving the Federal Bureau of Investigation more time to conduct them, but has not taken further steps, to the frustration of gun violence prevention advocates. Gun-control advocates have emphasized the significance of the ATF director in enforcing the nation's gun laws, and Chipman is certain to win praise from them.
Particularly, many Republicans oppose gun control legislation.