Washington, D.C. — On Thursday, the Biden administration will roll out a series of gun safety measures that will begin to address an epidemic of gun violence that has plagued the country for far too long.
The package of executive actions targets some of the most pressing fronts in the gun violence crisis, including closing loopholes that gun manufacturers have long exploited, enhancing data collection to combat gun trafficking, and dramatically increasing investments in community-based violence prevention programs that have a proven track record of success on the ground.
The White House also announced a strong nominee to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in David Chipman. His appointment offers a clear signal that while today’s executive actions are a welcome first step, the push to curb gun violence will be an ongoing priority for this administration.
In response to today’s announcement, Chelsea Parsons, vice president of Gun Violence Prevention at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:
Today’s announcement signals the beginning of a new era of gun safety in this country, with strong leadership once again in the White House that understands the gravity of this problem and is poised to take real action to address it. The actions announced today strike at some of the most urgent facets of the gun violence crisis: from the need for a significantly increased investment in community-based violence prevention programs, to closing some of the most dangerous gaps that allow the gun industry to innovate around the law, to providing crucial information about gun trafficking that can help shape policy. These are meaningful actions, the impact of which will be far-reaching.
In addition, the nomination of David Chipman to serve as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is a monumental step forward for an agency that has a truly crucial role to play in effectively enforcing gun laws and providing regulatory oversight of the gun industry. Chipman is uniquely qualified for the role, as a veteran ATF special agent with experience in all aspects of the agency’s work and a dedicated public servant with a strong sense of justice and a commitment to ensuring that everyone has the right to live in a safe community.
In addition to the nomination of Chipman to serve as director of ATF, the Biden administration announced five executive actions to address gun violence:
- A historic $5 billion investment in community-based violence prevention and intervention programs that have a proven track record of effectively reducing violence and saving lives. This announcement is a testament to the decades of effort and advocacy by Black and brown leaders across the country to build financial support for these crucial programs.
- Action to improve regulation of “ghost guns:” unserialized and untraceable guns that can be built at home without a background check and have increasingly been used in violent crime across the country.
- Closing an existing gap in the current interpretation of the law that allows the gun industry to evade heightened regulation of short-barreled rifles through the ruse of marketing such devices as pistol braces.
- Releasing an annual report analyzing common methods of illegal gun trafficking to aid policymakers and law enforcement in curbing this dangerous conduct.
- Creating model legislation for states to enact extreme risk protection order legislation—a policy that provides a tool for courts to temporarily disarm individuals whose behavior demonstrates that they pose an imminent risk of harm to self or others.
- Fact Sheet: Frequently Asked Questions About Ghost Guns
- Fact Sheet: Frequently Asked Questions About Extreme Risk Protection Orders
- The Gun Industry in America by Chelsea Parsons, Eugenio Weigend Vargas, and Rukmani Bhatia
- The Most Important Gun Violence Prevention Agency You’ve Never Heard Of by Chelsea Parsons
- Beyond Policing: Investing in Offices of Neighborhood Safety by Betsy Pearl
- How To Reinvest in Communities When Reducing the Scope of Policing by Ed Chung and Betsy Pearl
For more information on gun violence prevention policy or to speak with an expert, please contact Adam Peck at gro.ssergorpnacirema@kcepa.