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Biden Is Expected To Announce New Firearms Regulation, Eyes New ATF Candidate

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CNN

President Joe Biden is expected to announce new firearm regulations as soon as Monday aimed at containing the use of specially made guns, people familiar with the matter said, as he is under pressure to take more steps to address gun violence.

The regulation for so-called “ghost guns” — unregulated, untraceable weapons made from kits — would classify components used to make them such as frames or receivers as “firearms,” ​​addressing a critical gap in the government’s ability to track them.

Biden is also expected to name Steve Dittelbach, a former US attorney from Ohio, as a candidate to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as soon as Monday, according to a US official. Biden’s former nominee was forced to withdraw amid opposition in the Senate.

The moves come as gun violence and crime have surged in the United States, putting pressure on the White House to take action. Biden was expected to address the new gun-related steps at a public event on 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 were not authorized to speak publicly. Dittelbach did not respond to a request for comment.

Following a 2021 directive from the Biden administration, the ATF proposed a rule in May last year to allow the office to classify the building blocks that often make up ghost weapons as firearms. Al Qaeda has been making its way through the process of federal regulation ever since.

The ATF Rule addresses a major issue with tracking and regulating ghost weapons because some frames and receivers used to assemble the weapons are purchased online and are not classified by the bureau as firearms.

The rule would also require that manufacturers who sell parts to assemble stealth rifles be licensed and conduct background checks on potential buyers of the kits used to assemble the products.

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

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

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

Last week, Maryland joined Washington, D.C. 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 ghost guns, 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 ATF career official, has come under scrutiny from gun rights advocates and the National Rifle Association for his work as a senior advisor to Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords — the organization started by former Representative Gabriel Giffords, who was photographed at an event in her neighborhood in Arizona in 201

Dittelbach ran unsuccessfully for Ohio’s attorney general in 2018 after serving as United States attorney general in the state.

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