The Biden administration has proposed a crackdown on so-called “ghost guns,” weapons that are assembled by their owners with purchased parts.
The Department of Justice said the new regulation is intended to “update” the definition of firearms.
Its proposed rule would “modernize the definition of ‘frame or receiver’ and help close a regulatory loophole associated with the un-serialized privately made firearms that are increasingly being recovered at crime scenes across the country,” the Biden DOJ said.
“These … ‘ghost guns’ are often assembled from kits that are sold without background checks, making them easily acquired by criminals who otherwise would not be permitted to possess a firearm,” the agency said.
Merrick Garland, the attorney general, said: “We are committed to taking commonsense steps to address the epidemic of gun violence that takes the lives of too many people in our communities. Criminals and others barred from owning a gun should not be able to exploit a loophole to evade background checks and to escape detection by law enforcement.”
Garland said the proposed rule “would help keep guns out of the wrong hands and make it easier for law enforcement to trace guns used to commit violent crimes, while protecting the rights of law-abiding Americans.”
The DOJ said that from 2016 to 2020, more than 23,000 “un-serialized” firearms were reported to have been recovered by law enforcement from potential crime scenes.
The guns were linked to 325 homicides or attempted homicides, the DOJ said.
The department said it wants to keep guns “from being sold to convicted felons and other prohibited purchasers” by requiring background checks on kits.
The DOJ wants serial numbers to be added to the “ghost guns” when firearms dealers come across them.
A 90-day public comment period is to be opened soon.
The Hill reported the proposed rule is the Biden administration’s first move in what is expected to be a major campaign to curb Second Amendment rights.
If the current proposal in enacted, firearms dealers would have to do background checks on purchasers before selling a kit.
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