Amid rise of gun violence, Biden unveils ‘basic common sense’ regulations targeting ghost guns
Written by B87FM on April 11, 2022
WASHINGTON – Calling them “primary widespread sense,” President Joe Biden took steps Monday to rein in using untraceable firearms generally known as ghost guns that legislation enforcement officers mentioned flip up steadily at crime scenes.
Biden introduced federal rules that can goal privately made firearms that may be assembled from do-it-yourself kits bought on-line or in a retailer. The weapons lack serial numbers, which makes it tough to hint the proprietor.
“These weapons are weapons of selection for a lot of criminals,” Biden mentioned in a Rose Backyard ceremony attended by victims and households of gun violence. “We’re going to do every part we will to deprive them of that selection and, once we discover them, put them in jail for a protracted, very long time.”
The foundations, which have been within the works for practically a 12 months, will make clear that the unfinished elements offered within the gun kits, such because the body of a handgun or the receiver of a protracted gun, will qualify as firearms beneath federal legislation.
Business producers of the kits must be licensed and should add serial numbers on the kits’ body or receiver. Business sellers of the kits must grow to be licensed and might be required to run background checks on potential patrons earlier than a sale, identical to they have to do with commercially made firearms.
In a associated transfer, Biden introduced that he’s nominating Steve Dettelbach, a former U.S. legal professional from Ohio, to function director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The federal company, generally known as the ATF, is accountable for imposing the nation’s gun legal guidelines.
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Biden withdrew his first nominee for the job, gun-control advocate David Chipman, in September after the nomination stalled for months due to opposition from Republicans and a few Democrats within the Senate.
Biden’s determination to take intention at ghost weapons comes amid growing concern about the rise of gun violence and rising strain from Democrats in Congress to crack down on gun deaths and violent crime.
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The ATF proposed a brand new rule final Might that might change the federal definition of a firearm to incorporate the elements used to make ghost weapons. The rule has been making its approach by the federal regulatory course of for practically a 12 months. Monday’s announcement famous that the company has issued the ultimate rule.
Along with the brand new rules, Biden referred to as on Congress to ban the sale and possession of ghost weapons.
Biden’s actions are anticipated to face sturdy resistance from the gun foyer.
Even earlier than the brand new rules have been introduced, gun-rights group Gun Homeowners of America mentioned Sunday it will instantly sue to halt the brand new guidelines, which it mentioned violate the Second Modification. Aidan Johnston, the group’s director of federal affairs, accused Biden of attempting to create a nationwide gun registry and finish the web sale of gun elements with out passage of a brand new legislation.
The group referred to as on Congress to dam the implementation of the rule by utilizing the Congressional Overview Act, which permits lawmakers to overturn guidelines issued by federal companies.
Gun-control advocates praised the brand new rules.
“Ghost weapons seem like a gun, they shoot like a gun, and so they kill like a gun, however up till now they haven’t been regulated like a gun,” mentioned John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Security, which pushes for gun management and in opposition to gun violence.
Feinblatt applauded the administration “for doubling down on its dedication to gun security by taking motion to rein in ghost weapons and nominating an ATF director who will finish its tradition of complicity with the gun business.”
Regulation-enforcement officers throughout the nation have expressed concern in regards to the rise in use of ghost weapons in crimes. Final 12 months alone, some 20,000 ghost weapons have been recovered by legislation enforcement in felony investigations, a ten-fold improve from 2016, the Justice Division mentioned.
Because the variety of crimes involving ghost weapons has jumped in a number of elements of the U.S., some states, like California, have enacted legal guidelines to require serial numbers to be stamped on firearms. Some municipalities are also firing again with lawsuits and different authorized challenges that accuse producers of violating legal guidelines and undermining legislation enforcement.
Mia Tretta, who was wounded greater than two years in the past in a faculty taking pictures at Saugus Excessive Faculty in Santa Clarita, Calif., launched Biden at Monday’s occasion. Tretta referred to as the brand new guidelines “lifesaving” and famous that the weapon used to shoot her and kill two college students was a ghost gun.
“Now, lastly, we now have a president who realizes that ideas and prayers alone will not be sufficient,” she mentioned.
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The brand new rules Biden introduced Monday additionally embrace steps to place serial numbers on ghost weapons already in circulation.
The Justice Division would require licensed sellers and gunsmiths taking any unserialized firearm into stock so as to add a serial quantity to that weapon.
For instance, if somebody builds a firearm at house after which sells it to a pawnbroker or one other licensed seller, that seller should add a serial quantity to the weapon earlier than promoting it to a buyer. The requirement will apply no matter how the firearm was made, whether or not it’s assembled from particular person elements, kits, or by 3D-printers.
Licensed firearms sellers additionally might be required to maintain data till they shut down their enterprise. The data then should be transferred to the ATF, simply as they’re at present required to do. Beforehand, sellers have been permitted to destroy most data after 20 years.
Biden referred to as the brand new rules “an vital step” and famous that when a serial quantity is added to a gun, “unexpectedly it is not a ghost.”
“That is going to assist save lives, scale back crime and get extra criminals off the streets,” he mentioned.
Comply with Michael Collins on Twitter @mcollinsNEWS.
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