President Biden announces ban on unlicensed ‘ghost gun’ kits

by Trinity Cardinal

Matt Bush, FISM News


President Biden has announced his long-awaited ghost gun rule. According to the fact sheet released earlier today, “This final rule bans the business of manufacturing the most accessible ghost guns, such as unserialized ‘buy build shoot’ kits.” 

The move comes under increasing pressure from fellow democrats who want to see more urgency from the administration in regard to gun control and ghost guns specifically. A recent article from Politico references a letter sent to the President from 128 Democratic lawmakers demanding Biden move on the following three fronts:

  • Create a centralized task force to address gun violence.
  • Name a new nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
  • Finalize a federal crackdown on ghost guns.

Last week, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said, “It’s time for more urgency from the administration as the gun violence epidemic gets worse by the day.” 

Yesterday, the Senate’s top Democrat, Chuck Schumer, said, “My message is a simple one: No more waiting on these proposed federal rules.”

The fact sheet released today addresses two of the three demands from Democratic lawmakers, leading some to question whether the motivation behind Biden’s announcement of new ATF nominee and ghost gun legislation was made for the benefit of the country or rather to relieve pressure on his administration.

President Biden announced Steve Dettelbach as his choice to serve as the Director of the ATF. The statement released by the administration describes Dettelbach as, “a highly respected former U.S. Attorney and career prosecutor who spent over two decades as a prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice.” Biden had to withdraw his first nominee for the office because of opposition from both Republicans and Democrats alike. Dettelbach is expected to meet the same type of battle for his confirmation, especially considering that since 2006 only one nominee has made it. Todd Jones took office in 2013, but even that was after a six-month struggle.

The ghost gun rule is the more specific and immediate announcement made this morning. According to Fox News, “For nearly a year, the rule has been making its way through the federal regulation process.” Democrats and gun safety groups have been pushing the Justice Department to finish the rule for months, but the finalized version will be met with heavy opposition from many and is likely to draw litigation.

One of those organizations that oppose this rule is the Gun Owners of America (GOA). A statement released by their Director of Federal Affairs, Aidan Johnston, stated, “Just as we opposed the Trump Administration’s arbitrary ban on bump stocks, GOA will also sue Biden’s ATF to halt the implementation of this rule, whose promulgation violates the Second Amendment, Firearm Owners Protection Act, Gun Control Act of 1968, and Administrative Procedures Act.” 

The issue, according to the GOA, boils down to the second amendment as they believe that “This new rule would expand the ATF’s gun registry through a rule in violation of the Firearm Owners Protection Acts prohibition 18 USC 926 A 3. When this final rule goes into effect…it would eventually expand ATF’s illegal gun registry with firearm sale records dating back 20 years.” The GOA asserts that this is an attempt to increase ATF’s gun registry and has nothing to do with crime prevention.

Ghost guns are defined in the press release as, “unserialized, privately-made firearms that law enforcement are increasingly recovering at crime scenes in cities across the country.” Statistics from the Justice Department reveal that more than 24,000 ghost guns were recovered by law enforcement between 2016 and 2020, and that number is expected to grow by the year. Due to the untraceable and unregulated nature of the guns, it is very difficult to even guess how many are in circulation on the streets right now.

The new rule is expected to change the definition of a firearm to include unfinished parts such as the frame of a handgun or the receiver of a long gun making it easier for ghost guns to be governed by the same rules and laws as other firearms.