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Biden to announce order closing loophole on ‘ghost guns’ in wake of mass shootings

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 4/8/2021 Chris Sommerfeldt

President Biden will unveil a package of executive orders aimed at curbing gun violence Thursday, his first stab at the hot-button issue as advocates and congressional Democrats demand action in the wake of a string of deadly mass shootings, the White House announced Wednesday.

The long-awaited announcement, which comes almost three months into Biden’s presidency, will include an order to close the so-called “ghost gun” loophole, which allows buyers of homemade and makeshift weapons to avoid background checks, according to a source who has spoken to the White House about the matter.

The actions will not, however, include orders to regulate concealed assault rifles, but rather update a Department of Justice rule to ensure modified pistols like the one the Boulder shooter used are outlawed, the Associated Press reported. The DOJ will also publish model red flag legislation within 60 days, which the administration says will make it easier for states to adopt their own red flag laws. Such laws allow for individuals to petition a court to allow the police to confiscate weapons from a person deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.

Also at Thursday’s ceremony, Biden will announce that he plans to nominate David Chipman, a policy adviser for the gun control advocacy group Giffords, as his director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the source said. Chipman, who previously served as an ATF agent, would play a key role in executing Biden’s gun control agenda if confirmed by the Senate as director of the regulatory agency.

a man standing in front of a laptop: President Joe Biden © Evan Vucci President Joe Biden

President Joe Biden (Evan Vucci/)

Biden failed to make good on a 2020 campaign promise to take executive action on guns on his first day in office.

The delay angered gun control activists, who have for years unsuccessfully pushed to make it harder to buy firearms in the U.S., the only country in the world where mass shootings are a regular occurrence.

The White House has said the delay is a result of Biden focusing his first weeks in office on battling the still-raging coronavirus pandemic and accelerating the country’s vaccination efforts.

Thursday’s announcement comes over two weeks after a gunman entered a supermarket in Boulder, Colo., and shot 10 people to death. A week before that, a gunman shot eight people to death at three spas in the Atlanta area.

Despite the latest rash of gun violence, Republicans in Congress have refused to get onboard with adopting any legislation to curtail access to guns.

Democrats are forging ahead with gun control bills, nonetheless, including one measure that would ban assault rifles, though the fate of those efforts remains in the air because of Republican resistance.

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