President Joe Biden plans to announce a new nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms on Monday afternoon, as part of his administration’s renewed effort to combat gun violence.
Biden will nominate Steve Dettelbach, a former United States Attorney in Ohio, to lead the bureau. His first nominee, David Chipman, was withdrawn due to Republican unanimity and a lack of support from moderate Democrats. In 2009, Dettelbach was unanimously confirmed for the position of United States Attorney.
Simultaneously, Biden will announce a plan to crack down on “ghost guns,” which are often kits to build a weapon in 30 minutes or less and lack a serial number that law enforcement can use to track the weapon. A new federal rule will require ghost gun manufacturers to obtain licenses, conduct background checks, and include serial numbers on their products.
According to the Justice Department, such privately manufactured firearms are becoming increasingly popular: Nationally, law enforcement recovered 1,758 people in 2016, with that figure expected to rise to 19,344 by 2021. During that time period, 692 homicide or attempted homicide investigations were linked to ghost guns.
On the campaign trail, Biden promised to combat gun violence and boasted about his work in the 1990s to get a ban on assault weapons passed through Congress. However, much of his work to enact stricter gun laws has been hampered by Democrats’ narrow congressional majorities and the defeat of Chipman, a former ATF agent, and gun control advocate.
Liberal organizations, including Guns Down America and the youth group March For Our Lives, released a report card last week that gave Biden a D+ on gun control while praising his work to promote community violence intervention programs.
“One year ago, President Biden stood in the Rose Garden and promised to champion gun violence prevention by issuing executive actions and pushing Congress to pass-life saving legislation,” said Igor Volsky, Executive Director of Guns Down America.
“A year later, the President has taken meaningful steps to fund violence intervention programs but has failed to offer or implement a comprehensive vision for reducing all forms of gun violence in America.”
Meanwhile, according to polls, the majority of Americans are dissatisfied with Biden’s handling of gun violence issues.