Biden’s New Nominee to lead the ATF and Ghost Gun Rule are Important Steps, but More Must be Done

April 11, 2022

WASHINGTON, DC – Guns Down America Executive Director Igor Volsky released the following statement in response to President Biden announcing a new nominee to lead the ATF and a new rule to crack down on ghost guns:

“I’m happy to see President Biden respond to pressure from survivors of gun violence and impacted communities by taking steps to address the public health crisis of gun violence through his action on ghost guns today and a new nominee to lead the ATF. Unfortunately, more than 54,000 Americans have died from guns since President Biden was inaugurated and his administration is still ignoring calls to establish a White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention or release a comprehensive plan to address all forms of gun violence. Today was an important step, but the administration must take bolder action to save lives.”

Today’s announcement comes more than 200 days after the White House pulled their first nominee from consideration.

Last week, Guns Down America, March for Our Lives and Change the Ref released President Biden’s Gun Violence Prevention Report Card. The report card graded the actions the President has taken since his inauguration on a slew of issues, like stemming the flow of firearm trafficking, regulating untraceable guns, and effectively utilizing the Presidential bully pulpit to steer congressional and state action on gun safety. While steps that the President has taken should be acknowledged, the report card is clear: taken together his actions earn him a D+. There remains significant room for improvement.

The President earns high marks for a number of actions he has taken, like moving to regulate untraceable "ghost guns," using executive actions to allocate some funding for community violence intervention, and providing states with template legislation to prevent individuals from harming themselves or others with a firearm. But he continues to leave much on the table — the ATF remains leaderless, proposed rulings from the ATF have taken nearly a year to promulgate, legislation and crucial funding in congress have languished without a White House champion to lobby for it, the President has taken limited executive actions on gun violence prevention, and President Biden has yet to hold a marquee address to push for gun safety since April 2020.

While the report card is a tongue-in-cheek effort at drawing attention to the President's lackluster gun violence prevention agenda, the fact is President Biden's shortcomings have deadly consequences for communities across America. Since he took office in January 2021, nearly 54,000 Americans have lost their lives to the worst gun violence epidemic in recent memory. It’s time for immediate, forceful action.