US President Joe Biden must target homemade “ghost weapons” as part of a new package to tackle gun violence, a White House official said.
Ghost weapons do not have a serial number, which makes them difficult to trace. They can be purchased by minors and people who would not pass the background check.
Mr Biden will pass the measures through an executive order, which means he won’t need congressional approval.
The move comes after high-profile mass shootings last month.
A total of 18 people have died in two mass shootings, one in Boulder, Colorado and the other in Atlanta, Georgia.
The decree will include measures on the use of stabilizing orthopedic devices and the prevention of violence in the community.
However, the president will have a difficult task. The right to bear arms is protected by the Second Amendment of the US Constitution, and many people view gun control laws as a violation of their constitutional right.
What are the proposed measures?
Later Thursday, Biden will say he has given the Justice Department 30 days to propose a rule that will help reduce the number of “ghost guns”. These guns are self-assembled which means they do not contain a serial number and cannot be traced.
Mr Biden will also give the Justice Department 60 days to develop a rule on stabilizing braces for pistols. Under the rule, braces, which can be used to transform a pistol into a short-barreled rifle, would be subject to regulation under the National Firearms Act.
The Justice Department will also be asked to draft a “red flag law” that states can then use to create their own legislation. These laws allow courts and law enforcement to remove firearms from people considered a risk to the community.
An official told Reuters news agency that this was only the first step in tackling gun violence and that Mr Biden would continue to advocate for gun legislation.
“The president will not wait for Congress to act before the administration takes our own measures, entirely under the authority of the administration and the Second Amendment, to save lives,” the official said.
It would be difficult to take the plunge of Congress. The US Senate is currently divided 50 to 50 between Democrats and Republicans, with Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris holding the deciding vote.
However, due to Senate rules, in practice 60 votes are needed to pass legislation, so some Republican support is needed. Republicans have blocked important gun control laws in the past.
What was the reaction?
The measures proposed by Mr Biden have been welcomed by the gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety.
“Each of these executive actions will begin to address the epidemic of gun violence that has raged throughout the pandemic and deliver on President Biden’s pledge to be the strongest president in human security history. guns, ”Group Chairman John Feinblatt said.
He added that the Biden administration’s decision to treat phantom weapons “like the deadly weapons that they are will undoubtedly save countless lives.”
The National Rifle Association, the largest gun rights lobby group in the United States, described the measures as “extreme” and said he was ready to fight.
According to a database compiled by Associated Press (AP), USA Today and Northeastern University, the Colorado supermarket shooting was the seventh mass murder in the United States so far this year. The database defines mass murders as four or more deaths.