Biden is expected to introduce at the White House on Thursday his long-awaited package of executive actions meant to curb skyrocketing gun violence within the US.
The administration's moves, which Biden plans to announce at an event with Atty. "Other executive actions remain unclear".
"Each of these executive actions will start to address the epidemic of gun violence that has raged throughout the pandemic, and begin to make good on President Biden's promise to be the strongest gun safety president in history", said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. The official spoke under ground rules that don't allow identification by name. Ghost guns have increasingly turned up at crime scenes and in recent years have been turning up more and more when federal agents are purchasing guns in undercover operations from gang members and other criminals.
Some states, like California, have enacted laws in recent years to require serial numbers be stamped on ghost guns.
Although Biden promised during his campaign to take a number of action addressing gun control, activists have been dismayed that it had not been an early priority for his administration, especially as the recent mass shootings sparked fresh debate on how to tackle gun violence. Those can include conflict intervention, connecting people with social service agencies and working with shooting victims while they are hospitalized in hopes of avoiding retaliatory attacks.
Chipman and a White House spokesman both declined to comment. Regina Lombardo, appointed under Trump, is now the acting director.
The administration's steps drew praise from gun safety groups.
The President plans to announce new executive actions on guns Thursday, a person familiar with the plans said. Ghost guns refer to kits that allow the recipient to assemble the firearm using provided parts.
The administration official told reporters on Wednesday that Biden is concerned about all forms of gun violence, not only mass shootings but also domestic violence and forms of community violence that disproportionately affect Black and Brown communities.
"There is no one better to lead ATF right now", the senior administration official said, citing Chipman's experience with the agency.
The Associated Press reported Chipman "has for years worked as a senior policy adviser at Giffords", a law center relied on by gun control proponents throughout the country. The Biden administration plans to nominate Chipman, a former federal agent, to be director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
ATF leaders have historically faced trouble getting confirmed in the Senate. The last Senate-confirmed head of the agency, B. Todd Jones, who was named by President Obama, stepped down in 2015, and acting directors have run the agency since, limiting its ability to pursue new programs.
"The concealability and ability to use ammunition capable of penetrating body armor make these firearms especially risky on our streets and for law enforcement personnel", the lawmakers wrote, urging Biden "to immediately promulgate regulations to cover these concealable assault firearms under the National Firearms Act".
Biden himself expressed uncertainty late last month when asked if he had the political capital to pass new gun control proposals, telling reporters, "I haven't done any counting yet".
"The other problems we're talking about, from immigration to guns and the other things you mentioned, are long-term problems; they've been around a long time", he said.