Biden Announces Executive Actions on Gun Control
Vowing not to wait for Congress, President Biden announced today
from the Rose Garden his first actions "to curb the epidemic of gun violence." The steps that will be taken immediately are:
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ("ATF") to issue a proposed rule by May 8, 2021 (30 days) to help stop the proliferation of “ghost guns.” This will be in the form of a revision to the regulatory definition of "firearm frame or receiver." It is important to point out that ATF has already started working on a proposed rule. Reeves & Dola will explore the issue of "ghost guns" in greater detail in a future alert.
ATF to issue a proposed rule by June 8, 2021 (60 days) classifying pistols with "certain" stabilizing braces as short-barreled rifles subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act ("NFA").
Readers may recall that at the end of 2020, ATF published then promptly withdrew "guidance" on what features factor into the classification of pistols with stabilizing braces (please refer to our alerts of December 17 and 23, 2020
). According to the Attorney General, the proposed rule "will make it clear" that when a device marketed as a stabilizing brace effectively turns a pistol into a short-barrel rifle (i.e. shot from the shoulder), the firearm will be subject to the taxation and registration requirements of the NFA.
Justice Department to publish by June 8, 2021 (60 days) model “red flag” legislation for states. Legislation is usually undertaken by the Congress, and during his speech today the president urged Congress to pass a national “red flag” law and legislation to incentivize states to pass “red flag” laws of their own. Not wanting to wait for Congress, Biden is directing the Justice Department "in the interim" to publish "model legislation" to make it easier for states that want to adopt red flag laws to do so.
ATF to issue a new annual report on firearms trafficking. ATF published the last trafficking report in 2000. Citing recent changes to common firearm trafficking channels, such as online sales and "ghost guns," Biden is directing the Justice Department to issue a new, comprehensive report on firearms trafficking and annual updates necessary to give policymakers the information they need to help address firearms trafficking today.
Nomination of David Chipman to serve as ATF Director. Chipman, a former ATF agent, currently serves as a senior advisor to the gun control group Giffords. The last confirmed Director was B. Todd Jones, who served until March 31, 2015.