President Biden is expected to announce new executive actions on guns following a series of high profile mass shootings and Congress’ inaction on the matter, Politico reports.
Sources who have spoken with the White House about the plan told Politico that President Biden will direct the administration to begin the process of requiring buyers of so-called ghost guns — homemade or makeshift firearms that lack serial numbers — to undergo background checks.
Attorney General Merrick Garland is expected to join Biden for the announcement.
Other executive actions the president may announce on Thursday remain unclear, but stakeholders have speculated that he could possibly announce regulations on concealed assault-style firearms; prohibitions on firearm purchases for those convicted of domestic violence against their partners; and federal guidance on home storage safety measures. The president could also announce his nominee to be the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
In the aftermath of two high profile mass shootings last month in Atlanta and Colorado, Biden called on the Senate to close loopholes in the background checks system by taking up two bills that passed on a bipartisan majority in the House.
H.R. 8 would expand background checks on individuals seeking to purchase or transfer firearms, and the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 would close the “Charleston loophole,” a gap in federal law that lets gun sales proceed without a completed background check if three businesses days have passed.
H.R. 1446, is linked to a shooting in 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina, where a white supremacist used the loophole to obtain firearms he used to kill nine Black people during a Bible study at Mother Emanuel AME Church. The bill would extend the initial background check review period from three to 10 days.
In response to criticism from gun control advocacy groups that his administration has moved too slowly on executive actions, the Biden White House has responded that legislative fixes are a priority. Biden is likely to make the same point on Thursday, and once again voice his support for the legislation passed in the House, Politico noted.