April 8 (UPI) — President Joe Biden plans to unveil several executive actions on Thursday aimed at curbing gun violence, including measures on unregistered firearms that can be assembled from parts, commonly referred to as “ghost guns.”
The new directives come in the aftermath of mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder that killed 18 people. Biden is expected to outline the gun control measures in an announcement in the White House Rose Garden at 11:45 a.m. EDT.
“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. In fact, cities across the country are in the midst of a historic spike in homicides, violence that disproportionately impacts Black and brown Americans,” the White House said in a statement.
In one executive order, Biden will ask the Justice Department, within 30 days, to issue a proposed rule to help stop the proliferation of “ghost guns.” These weapons often don’t have a serial number and can’t be traced by law enforcement.
“We are experiencing a growing problem: Criminals are buying kits containing nearly all of the components and directions for finishing a firearm within as little as 30 minutes and using these firearms to commit crimes,” the White House announcement added.
Biden also will ask the Justice Department to develop within 60 days “red flag” laws that states can adopt. The measures allow family members to petition courts to take firearms away from people who are deemed a threat. Several states already have red flag laws, including Colorado, the administration said.
Biden will also nominate David Chipman as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on Thursday.
Chipman is a former federal agent, gun control advocate and adviser for the gun control advocacy group named for former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who survived a 2011 shooting.
Other measures to be announced Thursday include:
- The Justice Department, within 60 days, will clarify regulations to ensure that pistols fitted with stabilizing braces, which essentially transform them into rifles, will be regulated under the National Firearms Act. These pistols currently do not fall under U.S. gun laws that regulate rifles. The alleged shooter in the Boulder tragedy last month appears to have used a pistol with an arm brace, which can make a firearm more stable and accurate while still being concealable.
- Biden will ask various agencies to direct more resources to community violence prevention measures. The White House said community violence interventions are proven strategies for reducing gun violence in urban communities through tools other than incarceration.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is organizing a webinar and toolkit to educate states on how they can use Medicaid to reimburse certain community violence intervention programs, the White House said. The American Jobs Plan proposes a $ 5 billion investment over eight years to support community violence intervention programs.
- The Justice Department will issue a new report on firearms trafficking and annual updates to give lawmakers the information they need to help address firearms trafficking. In 2000, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms issued a report on its investigations into firearms trafficking, which is one way firearms are diverted into the illegal market where they can end up in the hands of dangerous individuals, the White House said.