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Politics EXPLAINER: What are ghost guns? Why is Biden taking action?

08:30  12 april  2022
08:30  12 april  2022 Source:   msn.com

Growing ghost gun problem adds to America's violence woes

  Growing ghost gun problem adds to America's violence woes In the aftermath of a mass shooting in downtown Sacramento, California, that left six people dead and injured at least 12, President Joe Biden used a Sunday submarine commissioning ceremony to reiterate his call for stronger gun regulations. © Stephen Lam/The San Francisco Chronicle/Getty Images A police service technician with the Oakland Police Department Property and Evidence Unit points to a seized AR-15 assault rifle from a sample of ghost guns, or unregistered and untraceable firearms, at the department's headquarters in Oakland, California Thursday, April 15, 2021.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is unveiling a completed rule aimed at reining in the proliferation of ghost guns, firearms without serial numbers that have been turning up at crime scenes across the nation in increasing numbers.

A 9mm pistol build kit with a commercial slide and barrel with a polymer frame is displayed before President Joe Biden and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco speak in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, April 11, 2022, to announces a final version of its ghost gun rule, which comes with the White House and the Justice Department under growing pressure to crack down on gun deaths.. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) © Provided by Associated Press A 9mm pistol build kit with a commercial slide and barrel with a polymer frame is displayed before President Joe Biden and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco speak in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, April 11, 2022, to announces a final version of its ghost gun rule, which comes with the White House and the Justice Department under growing pressure to crack down on gun deaths.. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The White House and the Justice Department argue that regulating the firearms parts and requiring dealers to stamp serial numbers on ghost guns will help drive down violent crime and aid investigators in solving crimes. Gun groups, however, argue that the government is overreaching and that its rule violates federal law.

Biden to nominate new ATF director, release ghost gun rule

  Biden to nominate new ATF director, release ghost gun rule WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is nominating an Obama-era U.S. attorney to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as his administration unveils its formal rule to rein in ghost guns, privately made firearms without serial numbers that are increasingly cropping up at crime scenes, six people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. Biden is expected to make the announcement nominating Steve Dettlebach, who served as a U.S. attorney in Ohio from 2009 to 2016, at the White House on Monday, the people said. They were not authorized to discuss the nomination publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

FILE - © Provided by Associated Press FILE - "Ghost guns" are displayed at the headquarters of the San Francisco Police Department in San Francisco, on Nov. 27, 2019. The Biden administration is unveiling a completed rule aimed at reining in the proliferation of ghost guns, firearms without serial numbers that have been turning up at crime scenes across the nation in increasing numbers. The White House and the Justice Department argue that regulating the firearms parts and requiring dealers to stamp serial numbers of ghost guns will help drive down violent crime and aid investigators in solving crimes. Gun groups, however, argue that the government is overreaching and that its rule violates federal law. (AP Photo/Haven Daley, File)

Here’s a look at ghost guns and the debate brewing in the U.S.

Biden admin, DOJ to announce final rule on 'ghost guns'

  Biden admin, DOJ to announce final rule on 'ghost guns' Steve Dettelbach is also expected to be nominated to serve as ATF director. A "ghost gun" is a firearm that comes packaged in parts, can be bought online and assembled without much of a trace.

WHAT ARE GHOST GUNS?

They are privately-made firearms without serial numbers.

Generally, firearms manufactured by licensed companies are required to have serial numbers – usually displayed on the frame of the gun – that allow officials to trace the gun back to the manufacturer, the firearms dealer and original purchaser.

Ghost guns, however, are made of parts and are then assembled together. The critical component in building an untraceable gun is what is known as the lower receiver. Some are sold in do-it-yourself kits and the receivers are typically made from metal or polymer.

An unfinished receiver — sometimes referred to as an “80-percent receiver” — can be legally bought online with no serial numbers or other markings on it, no license required. Under the current rules, the federal government does not consider unfinished lower receivers to be firearms.

WHAT DOES THE RULE DO?

It changes the definition of a firearm and will require federal firearms dealers to add serial numbers to ghost guns that come their way.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has, for years, said that unfinished lower receivers don’t meet the legal definition of a firearm. And there is nothing illegal about building your own firearm.

It’s legal to make your own firearm if it’s for your personal use and you don’t intend to sell it. But if you open a business selling guns, you need a federal firearms license.

Under the new rule, the definition of a firearm would change to include unfinished parts, like the frame of a handgun or the receiver of a long gun. The rule also would require those parts to be licensed and include serial numbers. Dealers would also need to run background checks before a sale — just like they do with other commercially made firearms.

The requirement applies regardless of how the firearm was made, meaning it includes ghost guns made from individual parts, kits, or by 3D-printers.

It also will compel federally licensed dealers and gunsmiths who take in firearms without serial numbers to add serial numbers. That means, for example, if someone sells a ghost gun to a pawn broker – or other licensed dealer – the dealer must put a serial number on it before selling the gun to someone else.

Biden to unveil new federal regulations targeting ghost guns amid rise of gun violence

  Biden to unveil new federal regulations targeting ghost guns amid rise of gun violence New rules will require serial numbers be added to firearms assembled from do-it-yourself kits and background checks for people who purchase them.The new rules, which Biden and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco will announce during a Rose Garden ceremony, will target privately made firearms that can be assembled from do-it-yourself kits purchased online or in a store. The weapons contain no serial number, which makes it difficult to trace the owner.

HOW PREVELANT ARE GHOST GUNS?

Ghost guns aren’t new. But they are becoming a growing problem for law enforcement agencies across the U.S.

Federal officials have been sounding the alarm about the growing black market for homemade, military-style semi-automatic rifles and handguns. And guns without serial numbers have been turning up more frequently at crime scenes. They have also been increasingly encountered when federal agents buy guns in undercover operations from gang members and other criminals.

Ghost guns really popped into the public consciousness in 2013 when a gunman, John Zawahri, opened fire on the campus of Santa Monica College in California. Six people were killed, including Zawahri’s father and brother. The suspect had assembled an AR-15 after failing a background check at a gun dealer.

A gunman who killed his wife and four others in Northern California in 2017 had been prohibited from owning firearms, but he built his own to skirt the court order before his rampage. And in 2019, a teenager used a homemade handgun to fatally shoot two classmates and wound three others at a school in suburban Los Angeles.

The sale of ghost guns has exploded since then. It is hard to say how many are circulating on the streets, in part because in many cases police departments don’t contact the government about the guns because they can’t be traced.

Justice Department statistics show that nearly 24,000 ghost guns were recovered by law enforcement at crime scenes and reported to the government from 2016 to 2020. The New York Police Department said officers found 131 firearms without serial numbers since January.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

The Justice Department said the rule goes into effect 120 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register. But it's likely the rule will be be met with heavy resistance from gun groups and draw litigation in the coming weeks. Even reaching the point of introducing a rule has taken more than a year. Biden announced plans to impose tighter regulations on ghost guns in April 2021.

Gun Owners of America vowed that it would immediately fight the rule and that it would sue the ATF “to halt the implementation of this rule.”

How much of a specter are ghost guns? .
President Joe Biden’s regulation targeting so-called ghost guns, or firearms assembled at home from unregistered components, targets a problem that Democrats have characterized as an urgent threat to public safety. But ghost guns account for relatively few of the illegal guns police are encountering on the streets, even as law enforcement experts say they are seeing the weapons more frequently now than in recent years.In Philadelphia, ghost guns accounted for just 9% of guns recovered by police in 2021.

usr: 0
This is interesting!