Other executive actions remain unclear. But lawyers who have been in contact with the White House have speculated that the president may announce concealed assault-type gun regulations; bans on the purchase of firearms for those convicted of domestic violence against their partners; alerts to law enforcement when a potential buyer fails a background check; and federal guidelines on home storage security measures.
Over 100 Democrats in the House wrote to Biden last week, urging him to take action against concealed assault-type firearms, which are similar to that used in the Colorado shooting in which 10 people were killed.
Another announcement Biden is expected to make on Thursday is the presentation of his candidate for director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, who will play a key role in any executive branch action on weapons. fire. David Chipman, a longtime former ATF agent who served as a senior policy adviser at Giffords, a gun restrictions advocacy group, is said to be in line for the job, according to two people familiar with the deliberations.
Biden’s candidate could be difficult to navigate a 50-50 split between Republicans and Democrats. The ATF had most of the time interim directors since the post was confirmed by the Senate. Todd Jones was confirmed as director of ATF in 2013 after spending several years as interim director.
Biden is expected to be joined in the White House on Thursday by Attorney General Merrick Garland, members of Congress, groups calling for gun restrictions, community organizations and survivors of gun violence. Several people planning to attend said in interviews who were not told what Biden’s actions would release.
Biden has not only received criticism from groups advocating gun restrictions. A recent poll found that 57% of Americans disapproved of Biden’s handling of gun violence as president with opposition from both Republicans and Democrats; 42 percent approved.
“It is evident that there will be more and more tragic mass shooting incidents that force him to act,” said Po Murray, executive director of Newtown Action Alliance, a group formed after the 2012 shooting in the United States. Sandy Hook School in Connecticut. “We are losing 100 Americans every day to gun violence and it is not sustainable.”
Responding to criticism, the White House Biden stressed that legislative fixes were a priority. Biden is likely to make the same argument Thursday, in addition to expressing support for bills to expand background checks and close the so-called Charleston loophole that allows a gun to be transferred from authorized gun dealers before a background check is completed. He is also likely to push for legislation to keep guns away from those considered a danger to themselves or others, as well as a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The House has already passed bills to expand background checks and close the so-called Charleston loophole, but they face a difficult path in the Senate.
A senior administration official recently confirmed that the White House is completing its actions and can announce them in a series of steps.
Biden’s long-awaited announcement comes as gun sales have skyrocketed amid a year of pandemic quarantines, a summer of racial unrest and the president’s victory in the 2020 election, in which he pledged aggressive action to reduce gun violence. The year 2020 saw a record number of gun homicides in the USA.
“The administration has worked hard from day one to pursue actions aimed at reducing gun violence,” the senior administration official said recently. “We understand the urgency. No one understands the urgency more than the President and looks forward to rolling out some of the initial steps we can take. “
The White House has held several meetings on gun violence with prominent groups calling for gun restrictions, community groups and survivors of gun violence. The meetings were chaired by Susan Rice, director of the Home Policy Council, and Cedric Richmond, director of the Office of Public Engagement.
Community groups have applauded Biden’s decision to include $ 5 billion for community violence prevention programs in the $ 2 trillion infrastructure package he unveiled last week.
“With this investment of our federal public money, we have an unprecedented opportunity
to build a peace infrastructure to heal and disrupt cycles of violence, ”said a coalition of community groups dubbed Fund Peace that pushed for funding.
Biden has a long history of dealing with gun law, although his most recent efforts have ended in notable failure. After the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, President Barack Obama called on his then vice president to pass what he hoped would be the biggest gun restrictions since the Clinton administration. But after months of meetings and limited executive action, a bill requiring an expanded background check died in the Senate.
The Senate is even less democratic now, divided 50-50. Any bill would require at least 10 Republicans to vote with all Democrats, which is unlikely.
Igor Volsky, executive director of defense group Guns Down America, said he hopes Biden will unveil a comprehensive plan that includes regulations, executive action, funding and a strategy to push legislation through Congress.
“The president didn’t just take executive action on gun violence,” Volsky said. “He promised to present a solid comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence. Given the violence he has inherited, we expect him to keep his promise. “
With reporting by Betsy Woodruff and Josh Gerstein