White House expected to announce gun control actions, name ATF head on Thursday

The White House is preparing to roll out several gun control executive actions Thursday, sources familiar with the administration’s plans told ABC News.

It’s a much-anticipated move following several mass shootings across the country since President Joe Biden took office with a pledge to pursue gun control reforms.

While the details of the actions have not been finalized, Biden is to act on background checks and to better regulate ghost guns — the firearms assembled from parts purchased online that don’t have serial numbers and are difficult to track, according to a White House official.

The president, who will be joined by Attorney General Merrick Garland, is also expected to nominate David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Chipman, a former ATF agent, has most recently served as a high-profile gun control advocate with Giffords, the gun control advocacy group named for former Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., who was shot in the head in a 2011 shooting in her district while meeting with constituents.

PHOTO: President Joe Biden speaks during an event at the South Court Auditorium at Eisenhower Executive Office Building on April 7, 2021.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki described the forthcoming actions as a “combination of steps,” that could involve both presidential memos and executive actions.

After recent deadly mass shootings in Georgia and Colorado, Biden has said he is his options.

News of the potential announcement, welcomed by advocates and victims of gun violence and recent mass shootings, comes as Congress remains paralyzed on the issue. Despite Democrats’ control of Congress, they still need the support of 10 Republicans in the Senate to advance any gun control legislation.

The House has passed piecemeal reform bills largely along party lines, but they have not been taken up in the Senate. That reality has led gun-reform groups in recent weeks to endorse progressive calls to eliminate the Senate’s 60-vote threshold.

Biden is also expected to be joined on Thursday by gun control advocates and some Democratic lawmakers who have pushed for gun control legislation on Capitol Hill.

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