Politics

President Biden will regulate the rifle potentially used to shoot Boulder, making the purchase much more difficult

President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that the rifle attachment that the gunman who killed 10 people at Boulder King Super last month would be more regulated by the federal government, as he announced a number of measures aimed at combating gun violence.

The so-called mounting brackets, which can make the pistol more accurate and more rifle-like, will soon be regulated under the national firearms law. The change means that people who buy a gun mount will have to pay an additional $ 200 and provide more identifying information to the government through the registry.

“The mounting bracket … makes this basically a more accurate pistol and a small rifle,” Biden said. “As a result, it is more lethal, effectively turning it into a short-barreled rifle. That seems to be what the alleged Boulder shooter did.”

The National Firearms Act was passed in 1934 and aims to limit the sale of some weapons used in criminal activity. US Representative Joe Neguz, a Democrat from Lafayette whose province includes King Supers, who was attacked on March 21. Requested The president to make the change.

Guns and accessories regulated by the National Firearms Act include:

  • Shotguns with a barrel length of less than 18 inches
  • Rifles with a barrel length of less than 16 inches
  • Silencers

The 21-year-old Boulder gunman used an AR-556 pistol, which is essentially a small version of the popular AR-15 rifle, which he legally purchased. He also had a semi-automatic pistol in his possession, although authorities do not believe it was used in the attack.

The AR-556 is often modified with a prop mount. It is not clear if the Boulder gunman used such a prop.

Investigators refused to provide further information about the weapons used in the attack.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will publish a proposed rule governing stabilization brackets.

“We will make it clear that legal restrictions on short-barreled guns apply when certain mounting brackets are added to high-powered handguns,” Garland said. “Federal law mandates taxation and registration of all short-barreled rifles. They do so because these weapons are powerful yet can be easily concealed.”

Garland said the mounting brackets make high-strength pistols more stable and accurate while still concealable, and thus more lethal.

“Gun violence in this country is an epidemic, and it is an international embarrassment,” Biden said.

Biden also announced Thursday that he was tightening regulations for buyers of “ghost rifles” – homemade firearms that are typically assembled from parts and milled with a metal cutter and often lack the serial numbers used to track them. It’s legal to make a handgun in a home or workshop and there are no federal requirements for a background check. The goal is “to help stop the spread of these firearms,” ​​according to the White House.

President Joe Biden addresses the crowd and the nation during the 59th Presidential Inauguration Ceremony in Washington, January 20, 2021. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn in on the Western Front of the US Capitol. (Ministry of Defense photo by First Class Naval Officer Carlos Vásquez II)

The Justice Department will release a proposed rule intended to rein in ghost rifles within 30 days, although details of the rule were not immediately released.

The ministry also publishes model legislation within 60 days aimed at making it easier for countries to adopt their “red flag” laws. These laws allow individuals to petition the court to allow the police to confiscate weapons from a person deemed a danger to themselves or others. Colorado also has a red flag law in effect.

The ministry will also begin providing more data on the firearms trade, starting with a new comprehensive report on the matter. Management says it hasn’t been done in over two decades.

Biden is also nominating David Chipman, a former federal agent and advisor to the Giffords Gun Control Group, to be director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The Biden administration will also make investments in community violence intervention programs, which aim to reduce gun violence in urban communities, across five federal agencies.

Officials said the implementation procedures were “initial steps” that were completed during Garland’s first weeks in office, and more may come.

ATF is currently managed by acting director, Regina Lombardo. Gun control advocates emphasized the importance of this position in enforcing gun laws, and Chipman is sure to win praise from this group. During his time as a senior political advisor at Giffords, he put considerable effort into lobbying for more regulation and enforcement of stealth rifles, changes to the background check system and measures to curb the illegal firearms trade.

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Chipman spent 25 years as an ATF agent, working to stop a smuggling ring that sent illegal firearms from Virginia to New York, and serving on the ATF’s SWAT team. Chipman is a gun owner.

He is an explosives expert and was among the team involved in the investigation of the Oklahoma City bombing and the first bombing of the World Trade Center. He was also involved in investigating a series of church bombings in Alabama in the 1990s. Retired from ATF in 2012.

The White House fact sheet said Chipman worked “to reinforce logical gun safety laws”.

Emergency responders are escorting people who were inside the Table Mesa King Soopers store in Boulder when 10 people were killed by a gunman on March 22 (Steve Peterson, special for the Colorado Sun)

During his campaign, Biden promised to prioritize new arms control measures as president, including enacting global legislation to verify background, ban online sales of firearms, and the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. But The advocates of gun control said While they were comforted by signals from the White House that they were taking the case seriously, they were disappointed by the lack of early action.

As the new measures were announced, advocates praised Biden’s first steps to combat gun violence.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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