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President Biden. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Biden is expected to present a series of executive actions on guns Thursday, including directing his Justice Department to tighten regulations on purchases of so-called “ghost guns."

Why it matters: The president has faced increased pressure from Democrats and gun violence prevention groups to act on the issue following a series of recent high-profile gun tragedies across the U.S.

Details: Biden is using the bully pulpit to issue a number of actions at the executive level while urging Congress to do its part to enact more permanent legislation, which could prove difficult given the split Senate.

  • In what a senior administration official called an “initial” set of actions, the Department of Justice will introduce rules meant to minimize the proliferation of “ghost guns,” which are untraceable firearms assembled from kits.
  • The DOJ will issue a proposed rule within 60 days that would subject any pistol outfitted with a stabilizing brace to the requirement of the National Firearms Act. Such a brace, used by the shooter in March at a grocery store in Boulder, Colo., could make a pistol essentially function as a rifle.
  • The DOJ will publish “red flag” legislations for states to model on the local level and will also file a report on firearms trafficking for the first time since 2000.
  • Biden will also announce on Thursday that the administration is investing in evidence-based community violence intervention. The president has proposed a $5 billion investment in such intervention as part of his initial infrastructure proposal.
  • Biden will also nominate a gun control advocate to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

What they’re saying: Gun violence prevention advocacy groups are praising the executive actions while indicating there is still room for more action, such as providing more directives to agencies besides the DOJ, like HHS, that also work on the issue.

  • Groups are also calling for a broad, unified national strategy from the White House as well as the appointment of a director specifically focused on gun violence issues.
  • “We've been asking for a long time for them to prioritize this issue, and it's clear that they're going to start doing that,” Max Markham, policy director for March for Our Lives, told Axios.

Go deeper

Biden to nominate gun control advocate to lead ATF

Photo: Leigh Vogel/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden will nominate David Chipman, a prominent figure from a gun-control group, to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: The agency, which has not had a permanent director since 2015, is seen as a force within the government to combat gun violence. The appointment comes after the U.S. has seen a number of high-profile gun-related tragedies in a short period of time.

3 mins ago - Health

White House says J&J pause will not have "significant impact" on vaccination plan

Biden at the White Houe on April 6. Photo: Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House said Tuesday that the FDA's recommendation that the U.S. pause use of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine "will not have a significant impact" on the administration's vaccination plans.

Why it matters: The Biden administration says it has secured enough Moderna and Pfizer doses for 300 million Americans. The U.S. will be able to continue administering 3 million vaccine doses a day even without the Johnson & Johnson shot, according to the White House.

1 hour ago - Technology

Microsoft looks to leapfrog Big Tech competitors with major acquisitions

Data: CB Insights; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Microsoft is trying to leapfrog competitors like Google and Amazon as they face record antitrust scrutiny.

The big picture: The deals Microsoft has been eyeing are larger than its usual targets and bigger than those of its competitors.