Adam S. Olsen- Washington, D.C.
April 8, 2021

Both the House and Senate remain in Easter recess. The House will meet today at 3 p.m. in a pro forma session and the Senate will meet at 5:30 p.m. in a pro forma session.  The Senate will reconvene at 3:00 pm on Monday, April 12th and the House on Tuesday, April 13th, with votes at 6:30.

This morning, though executive actions, President Joe Biden will seek to limit “ghost guns” and make it easier for people to flag family members who shouldn’t be allowed to purchase firearms as part of a series of executive actions in the wake of recent mass shootings.  Biden is scheduled to appear in the Rose Garden and will be joined by Vice President Kamala Harris and Attorney General Merrick Garland. A number of Democratic congressional members, gun control advocates and local officials are also expected to attend.  The White House detailed the planned executive actions, arguing that Biden’s instructions to the Department of Justice will curb access to guns.  Biden will direct the DOJ to write rules that will reduce the proliferation of “ghost guns,” homemade firearms often made from parts bought online and that do not have traceable serial numbers.  Biden will also seek to reduce access to stabilizing braces, which can effectively turn a pistol into a more lethal rifle while not being subject to the same regulations that a rifle of similar size would be.  Finally, he will ask the DOJ to publish model “red flag” laws for states to use as guides. Red flag laws allow family members or law enforcement agencies to petition state courts to temporarily block people from obtaining firearms if they present a danger to themselves or others.  Biden will also direct the DOJ to issue a report on firearms trafficking, which hasn’t been done since 2000. He will also announce support for programs aimed at “reducing gun violence in urban communities through tools other than incarceration,” according to a fact sheet shared by the White House.  The actions by Biden are limited and will still likely face legal opposition from gun rights advocates, who view any efforts to limit access as a violation of the Second Amendment.

Also Thursday, Mr. Biden is expected to announce his intent to nominate David Chipman, a gun control advocate, to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The bureau has not had a permanent director since 2015.

Adam S. Olsen, Washington, D.C.