Biden expected to announce new gun regulation, eyes new ATF nominee

Regulation on so-called “ghost guns” (unregulated and untraceable weapons made from kits) would classify the components used to make them such as frames or receivers as “firearms,” ​​addressing a critical gap in the government’s ability to trace them.
Biden is also expected to name Steve Dettelbach, a former Ohio federal prosecutor, as his candidate to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as soon as Monday, according to a US official. Biden’s previous nominee was forced to withdraw amid opposition in the Senate.

The moves come as gun violence and crime have increased in the United States, putting pressure on the White House to take action. Biden was expected to address new steps on guns at a public event Monday afternoon, according to people who received invitations.

The White House declined to comment on the new steps, which were described by three people familiar with the matter who are not authorized to speak publicly. Dettelbach did not respond to a request for comment.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer again denounced the use of phantom guns during a news conference Sunday, called for a crackdown on the rise of privately made firearms and spoke about a deadly shooting in the Bronx on Friday.

The New York Democrat on Sunday blamed Republicans for delaying gun reform legislation, while pressing the Biden administration to go further. “Today I am calling on the administration to go after ghost guns, by enacting regulations that stop them. The federal government has the ability through regulation to stop these phantom guns,” he said.

Following a 2021 directive from the Biden administration, the ATF proposed a rule in May of last year to allow the bureau to classify the basic components that often make up ghost weapons as firearms. The rule has been making its way through the federal regulatory process ever since.

The ATF rule addresses a key issue in ghost gun tracking and regulation because certain frames and receivers used to assemble the guns are often purchased online and are not classified as firearms by the bureau.

The rule would also require manufacturers selling parts to assemble ghost guns to obtain a license and conduct background checks on potential buyers of the kits used to assemble the products.

The Justice Department also launched a national ghost gun enforcement initiative, which will “train a national cadre of prosecutors and disseminate investigative and prosecutorial tools to help bring cases against those who use ghost weapons to commit crimes,” according to the House. White.

Ghost pistols have been used in multiple recent shootings, including at a Maryland high school in January. The exact number in circulation is unknown, given the inability of regulators to track them.

Multiple states have moved to restrict their sale as ghost guns become more common at crime scenes.

Last week, Maryland joined Washington, DC, and 10 other states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington) in banning or restricting the purchase or use of guns. ghost. , which are often purchased online and assembled at home.

In September, Biden withdrew his nomination of David Chipman to lead the ATF after facing opposition from Republicans and some moderate Democrats.

Chipman, a former career ATF official, came under scrutiny from gun rights supporters and the National Rifle Association for his work as a senior adviser to Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords, the organization started by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot at an event in his Arizona district in 201

Dettelbach ran unsuccessfully for Ohio’s attorney general in 2018 after serving as a federal prosecutor in the state.

CNN’s Evan Perez contributed to this report.

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