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Biden expected to announce executive action on guns Thursday

President Joe Biden signs executive orders, Jan. 28, 2021, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)
April 07, 2021

President Biden is expected to announce new executive actions addressing gun violence on Thursday, including one action that could force gun owners to undergo background checks when buying guns without a serial number.

Following a Politico report citing four people who revealed the impending announcement, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday that Biden would have “more to say” on the topic of gun control on Thursday.

Politico’s sources said Biden will require buyers of “ghost guns” assembled from parts and lacking a serial number will be forced to undergo background checks. Reports first revealed in February that Biden was considering such executive action.

Other potential executive actions Biden could take on Thursday were not revealed.

Last week, 109 House Democrats sent a letter to Biden asking him to take executive action regulating concealable “assault-style” weapons, citing the recent mass shooting in Boulder, Colo., in which 10 people were killed.

Psaki also confirmed last week that Biden’s administration is “working on a couple of levers” to implement new gun control policy either through Congress or by executive action, and has “seen an openness by even some Republicans to having a debate and a discussion.”

“While that is moving, while there are discussions on that front — and the president will certainly be engaged in those — we are also continuing to review and consider what the options are for executive actions,” Psaki said.

Last month, Biden released a statement Monday pressuring lawmakers in Congress to pass two gun control bills that would extend FBI holds and criminalize private gun sales. The House of Representatives ultimately passed both bills.

“Gun violence is a public health crisis. Every day, gun violence – community violence, domestic violence, suicides, and mass shootings – takes American lives and forever alters many more. Last year, we saw record levels of homicides in cities throughout our country, violence that disproportionately impacts Black and Latino communities,” the statement read.

“The Federal gun background check system is a proven tool to reduce gun violence and save lives. This system, called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, has kept millions of guns out of potentially dangerous hands,” the Biden administration’s statement said.

Gun control was a major priority of Biden’s presidential campaign, and he has repeatedly called on Congress to act since his inauguration.

Biden’s campaign website had included his vows to ban online gun and ammo sales, limit gun sales, ban “assault weapons,” force gun owners into buybacks or registration, and various other restrictions.