TEXAS — President Joe Biden on Thursday announced a series of executive orders addressing gun violence and discussed the nomination of David Chipman, a former federal agent and adviser at the gun control group Giffords, to head up the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Ahead of the announcements, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott again tweeted that he supports legislation that would make Texas a “Second Amendment Sanctuary State.”
“This is what I’m seeking for Texas—a law to defy any new federal gun control laws. It will make Texas a Second Amendment Sanctuary State. Legislation is moving in the Texas House and Senate. I look forward to signing it,” Abbott wrote.
This is what I’m seeking for Texas—a law to defy any new federal gun control laws.— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 8, 2021
It will make Texas a Second Amendment Sanctuary State.
Legislation is moving in the Texas House and Senate.
I look forward to signing it. #2A #SecondAmendment https://t.co/N6qwbxuV5h
Abbott is likely chiefly referencing House Bill 2622, introduced by Rep. Justin Holland, R-Rockwall.
According to a March 5 release from Holland, under HB 2622 “Texas state agencies and other political subdivisions would be prohibited from enforcing or providing assistance to federal agencies on any new federal laws, orders, rules or regulations on firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition inside the state.”
"I look forward to working with Senator Springer and Governor Abbott on passing the Second Amendment Sanctuary State Act this legislative session," Holland wrote. "Now is the time to step up and protect our 2nd Amendment rights in Texas. We can’t rely on the Federal Government to lead on this issue and in reality - they will do vastly more harm than good for gun rights. The State of Texas is now and forever shall be a place of refuge for the 2nd Amendment and our ability to protect ourselves, our families, homes and businesses."
Following the 2019 mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso that claimed 23 lives, Gov. Abbott signaled an openness to at least one gun-control measure but since that time has made no mention of it.
Biden has faced increasing pressure to act on gun control after a spate of mass shootings across the U.S. in recent weeks, but the White House has repeatedly emphasized the need for legislative action on guns. While the House passed a background-check bill last month, gun control measures face slim prospects in an evenly-divided Senate, where Republicans remain near-unified against most proposals.
Biden will be joined by Attorney General Merrick Garland at the event, and most of the actions will come from the Justice Department.
Biden is expected to announce tighter regulations requiring buyers of so-called “ghost guns” to undergo background checks. The homemade firearms — often assembled from parts and milled with a metal-cutting machine — often lack serial numbers used to trace them. It’s legal to build a gun in a home or a workshop and there is no federal requirement for a background check.
The president’s plans were previewed by a person familiar with the expected actions who was not authorized to publicly discuss them.
Senior administration officials confirmed that the Justice Department would issue a new proposed rule aimed at reining in ghost guns within 30 days, but offered no details on the content of the rule.
The Justice Department will also issue a proposed rule within 60 days tightening regulations on pistol-stabilizing braces, like the one used by the Boulder, Colorado, shooter in a massacre last month that left 10 dead. The rule would designate pistols used with stabilizing braces as short-barreled rifles, which, under the National Firearms Act, require a federal license to own and are subject to a more thorough application process and a $200 tax.
The Justice Department will also publish model red flag legislation within 60 days, which the administration says will make it easier for states to adopt their own red flag laws. Such laws allow for individuals to petition a court to allow the police to confiscate weapons from a person deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.