Washington, DC – President Joe Biden is expected to announce a series of executive actions aimed at gun control on Thursday and his administration is hoping they won’t all be quickly dismantled by the courts.
Four people familiar with the game plan told Politico that President Biden would unveil his plan to curb gun violence using executive orders on April 8.
President Biden had promised on the campaign trail that he would take action on gun control the first day he was in office but has so far failed to do so.
Anti-gun activists have been frustrated by the President’s lack of urgency on gun control, but recent mass shootings in Boulder, Atlanta, and California appeared to have incentivized him to take action, Politico reported.
White House aides have said that the administration took their time on the gun-control executive actions because they are trying to avoid having them immediately overturned by the courts, according to Reuters.
The White House has pushed back against critics and said that Congress needed to make legislative gun-control fixes a priority this session.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland is expected to join the President for his announcement.
Sources said one of President Biden’s first moves will be to require background checks for buyers of “ghost guns,” which are homemade firearms that don’t have a serial number, Politico reported.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) found that 30 percent of illegal guns confiscated in some parts of California were “ghost guns,” according to Reuters.
But legal experts have said that changing the designation of those weapons would likely result in immediate legal challenges like those met by former President Donald Trump’s “bump stock” ban after the mass shooting at the Las Vegas music festival.
The President may also take the press conference as an opportunity to introduce his nominee for ATF director.
The ATF has been led by “acting” directors since the position became Senate-confirmed, Politico reported.
There is speculation that President Biden may announce measures to ban concealed “assault-style” weapons after 100 Democratic members of Congress sent him a letter last week demanding action.
He is also expected to address closing the “Charleston loophole” that allows a gun to be sold or transferred by a deadline even if the federal background check has not yet been completed, according to Politico.
President Biden has also said he planned to make it a priority to take guns out of the hands of domestic violence offenders and said he wants to ban “assault weapons” and high-capacity magazines and source said he may address some of those issues on Thursday.
There were a record number of gun homicides in the United States in 2020 as cities defunded their police departments.
“The administration has been working hard from Day One to pursue actions to reduce gun violence,” a senior White House official said. “We understand the urgency. No one understands the urgency more than the president and are looking forward to rolling out some of the initial actions we can take.”
Anti-gun groups want to see President Biden introduce a comprehensive plan that includes regulations, executive actions, funding and a strategy to pass gun control legislation in Congress, Politico reported.
“The president didn’t just run on executive actions when it comes to gun violence,” Guns Down America Director Igor Volsky said. “He promised to put forward a robust comprehensive plan for reducing gun violence. Given the violence he inherited, we expect him to live up at the promise.”