WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden is expected to announce executive actions on Thursday involving gun control and appoint a new head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to a White House official.
The actions will involve the regulation of “ghost weapons”, which are homemade weapons that do not have a traceable serial number, as well as background checks. Biden will also name David Chipman as his candidate to take over ATF.
The announcement comes as Biden faces pressure from Democrats and gun control activists to take action to address gun violence in the wake of recent mass shootings in Georgia, Colorado and South Korea. California.
Chipman is currently a senior policy adviser at Giffords, the gun control advocacy group led by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. Previously, he served 25 years as a special agent at ATF.
ATF leaders have always struggled to gain confirmation in the Senate. The last bureau chief to be confirmed was B. Todd Jones in 2013. Prior to Jones, the bureau had been without a Senate confirmed leader for seven years.
Since Jones stepped down in 2015, the ATF has only had interim directors. Regina Lombardo, appointed under Trump, is currently the interim director.
Although Biden has vowed during his campaign to take a number of steps to tackle gun control, campaigners have been dismayed that this has not been a priority for his administration, especially since recent mass shootings have sparked a new debate on how to tackle gun violence.
At a press conference in late March, Biden said he was focusing on legislative priorities other than gun control, such as his infrastructure plan.
“It’s a question of timing,” he said, when asked what steps he could take to tackle gun violence. “As you have all observed, successful presidents, better than me, have succeeded in large part because they know how to time what they do, to order it, to decide on priorities, what to do. . “