US President Joe Biden will unveil this Thursday measures to limit firearms, in particular to prevent the proliferation of untraceable weapons called “ghosts”, said officials of the White House. The Democrat will announce six measures “to deal with the health epidemic linked to gun violence,” one of them said on condition of anonymity. Among them is a new rule aimed at “stopping the proliferation of phantom weapons”, which are handcrafted and have no serial number.
The president also wants more support for the agencies involved in the fight against violence and request the first global report on the trafficking of firearms in the United States since 2000. However, he should not announce any major measures aimed at toughening the legislation. on weapons, such as more background checks or ending the sale of guns often used in so-called mass killings. The White House official stressed that these measures, which Joe Biden must unveil alongside his Minister of Justice Merrick Garland, were only “first” steps.
An important appointment
The President is also due to announce the appointment of David Chipman, an advocate for gun limitation, to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), crucial in the fight against gun violence. fire. A sign of the lack of political unity on this highly sensitive subject, the ATF has not had a director confirmed by the Senate since 2015. Joe Biden, a long-time supporter of better regulation of firearms, promised during his campaign to act on this front. A spate of shootings in recent weeks has increased the pressure for him to take action.
After killings in Georgia and then Colorado, he called on Congress to ban assault rifles and pass legislation to better verify the background of buyers, but short Democratic majorities in both chambers make it difficult to pass. texts on this very divisive subject. In 1994, then senator, Joe Biden had participated in the passage of a law banning assault rifles. But the measure was only valid for ten years and could never be renewed after 2004 given the opposition of elected Republican officials to what they perceive as a violation of a constitutional right.
Firearms killed more than 43,000 people, including suicides, in the United States in 2020, according to the Gun Violence Archive website. But many Americans remain very attached to their guns and have even rushed to buy more since the start of the pandemic, and even more during the major anti-racist protests in the spring and election tensions in the fall.