WASHINGTON, D.C. – After President Biden’s recent announcement on new regulations for non-serialized firearms, the term “ghost gun” is seemingly on everyone’s lips, along with its attendant misconceptions.
Today, with the kind assistance of the legal mind of Kirk Evans, President of U.S. Law Shield, which offers legal protection for law-abiding gun owners, we will unpack Biden’s new final rule, discuss a few misconceptions on ghost guns, and introduce what law-abiding gun owners can do to address the upcoming regulations.
“Ghost gun” is a term invented by anti-gun groups to refer to privately made, non-serialized firearms, often assembled from a kit.
— The Dana Show (@DanaLoeschRadio) April 11, 2022
In an announcement on Monday, April 11, Biden told listeners:
“Today, the United States Department of Justice is making it illegal for a business to manufacture one of these kits without a serial number.”
The White House further clarified in a statement that gun part kits are being redefined as “firearms”:
“This final rule bans the business of manufacturing the most accessible ghost guns, such as unserialized ‘buy build shoot’ kits that individuals can buy online or at a store without a background check and can readily assemble into a working firearm in as little as 30 minutes with equipment they have at home.
“This rule clarifies that these kits qualify as ‘firearms’ under the Gun Control Act, and that commercial manufacturers of such kits must therefore become licensed and include serial numbers on the kits’ frame or receiver, and commercial sellers of these kits must become federally licensed and run background checks prior to a sale – just like they have to do with other commercially-made firearms.”
Thus, when the new rule goes into effect 120 days after it is published in the Federal Register, private manufacturers such as hobbyists will no longer be able legally to purchase unserialized firearms parts kits.
Evans told me that this rule is Biden’s “end run” around Congress and its constituents:
“If Congress were inclined, they could pass a law that says all non-serialized firearms are banned….
“The reason they don’t is because they don’t have the votes, and the reason they don’t have the votes is that they don’t have enough support among their constituents around the country to get that through Congress….
“A portion of the country would support that, but the vast majority of the people would not support that.
“So what Biden has done is, against the will of the House and the Senate and their constituents, he has taken an end run around that and just tweaked the definition of what is a firearm under federal law.”
One common misconception that has seized the minds of persons who have heretofore never heard of “ghost guns” is that private manufacture of firearms is a new phenomenon.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Evans told me:
“[Private manufacture] is something that has been permitted in this country for two hundred or more years.
“You are allowed to make your own firearm for personal use.
“You are not allowed to sit at home and make firearms with the intent to distribute them. That is a crime, and it’s been a crime for a very long time.
“There are a few states, such as New Jersey, where you can’t make your own firearm, but the vast majority of the U.S., for the vast majority of our history, has permitted the homemade manufacture of firearms, and you do not have to have a serial number or register them.”
The Biden administration is regulating 'ghost guns.' Here's what the rule does https://t.co/12XcgflppO
— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) April 12, 2022
Many states also already have laws on the books regarding enhanced penalties for committing crimes with an unserialized firearm. It is also illegal in many states to deface a firearm; that is, it is illegal to scratch out the serial number, and there are increased penalties for committing a crime with a defaced firearm.
Another false takeaway that many have had from Biden’s speech is that there has been a sudden rash of violent crimes committed by people using ghost guns.
Biden stated in his speech:
“Last year alone, law enforcement reported approximately 20,000 suspected ghost guns to be – to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and explosives.”
What many have inferred, inappropriately, from this statement, is that all those guns were used to shoot someone. Furthermore, Biden did not specify whether those were guns made from a kit, or were serialized guns that were defaced.
Evans told me:
“When you Google ‘ghost guns found at crime scenes,’ you get a good portion that are manufactured at home or from an illegal manufacturer, but you get the same number of ones that are defaced firearms.
“This new regulation doesn’t do anything to help that, and it’s been a crime from time immemorial….
“The number that they throw out on the number of ghost guns found at crime scenes immediately creates the impression that somebody got shot, the bad guy left, and here is this firearm that we have no way of figuring out who the bad guy is.
“That is not what they are finding.
“These are 20,000 guns that were found with a connection of a crime, and where do most guns found with a connection with a crime occur?
“Finding a guy with a traffic warrant, finding a small-time drug dealer, maybe a property crime. That guy is pulled over, they serve the warrant, and ‘hey, do you have a gun on you?’
“Then they find out it’s non-serialized.”
“For folks in federal prison, 91% of their gun convictions were gun crime related, meaning a felony possession, unlawful carry, carrying in the wrong place, couldn’t have a gun in the first place.
“This is not 20,000 murders, or running around where we can’t find the bad guy.
“These guns have been found in connection with minor crimes, traffic stops, warrants, et cetera.”
Biden also asserted that serialized weapons have a “return address” that is “gonna help save lives, reduce crime, and get more criminals off the streets.”
It’s not quite that simple, however. Statistics indicate that the so-called “return address” in the form of a serial number has very limited value in solving crimes.
Evans told me:
“In Chicago, and this is fairly representative, they found that only 6 percent of firearm crimes were committed by the actual purchaser of a serialized weapon, meaning that even if you had the serial number on every one of the guns and traced all of these back, you’re only getting six percent of the people.
“The other criminals get their guns by stealing them, by finding them at other crime scenes, traffickers, straw purchases.
“Only 6 percent of the crimes could be easily solved if every gun had a serial number.”
I made this “ghost gun” a few months ago. Very legal & very cool. But now, thanks to Biden’s new rule change, I would be a felon if I made another one just like it today. pic.twitter.com/ZkatLvK46s
— Blake Masters (@bgmasters) April 11, 2022
Another misconception about “ghost guns” is that they are the “weapon of choice” for criminals.
Evans told me:
“The president said at his press conference yesterday that these firearms are the “weapon of choice” for many criminals.
“But even in New York, which supposedly has a complete and total outbreak of ghost guns, it’s currently at about 12 percent in New York, which I think is high compared to a lot of other areas.
“It’s clearly not the ‘weapon of choice.’ If it was the ‘weapon of choice’ it would be in the 80 or 90 percent range.”
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Yet another misconception is that ghost guns are “undetectable” by metal detectors or X-ray machines.
“Even if you made an entire gun out of plastic, you’re still going to have to have metal components. If you don’t have a metal barrel, for instance, it’s going to be a very bad gun after about two shots!
“These will still be 100% detectable by metal detectors. You can’t get them on airplanes or anything like that.”
Always love picking the brain of my friend Stephen Halbrook on 2A issues. He joins me now to discuss Biden’s end-run around congress to alter established law regarding “ghost guns.” https://t.co/cWif2UfGP5
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) April 12, 2022
Naturally, the increased regulations will also be a limitless money-maker for the government.
“It’s tax and control, as I like to call it.
“The government figures out they have control over a certain area, like they think they have control over all guns, and then they figure out that there is a section that they don’t control.
“First, let’s, one, get control, and two, now every single person has to get a NICS check, pay the FFL, go through all the paperwork, so now the government has control, there’s more fees associated with it.
“And the worst part of all of that is, once you establish that, then there’s no end to it. Once this settles in, then next year the fee is 50 bucks, and then the next year the fee is 100 bucks.
“And once you have the control, then you get a little more control, then a little more control. That’s the concern on our side of it.”
Biden outlaws so-called “Ghost Guns,” a scary name for privately made firearms.
He pretends this law will keep guns out of the hands of criminals who, by definition, don’t follow laws.
It merely hampers law-abiding citizens’ ability to exercise their 2nd Amendment Rights.
— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) April 11, 2022
For those law-abiding supporters of the Second Amendment who want to do something about Biden’s new final rule on non-serialized guns, Evans has some suggestions.
For one thing, citizens can come to their elected representatives about their concerns.
“Congress can always pass a law rescinding a definition that an administrative body has enacted.
“So, contact your representative, contact your Senator, say you do not appreciate this and would like to see if anything can be done to overturn it.”
Second, Evans suggested, concerned gun owners ought to research and join a pro-Second Amendment group that is filing a legal challenge to Biden’s new regulations.
For those who are concerned about complying with any gun laws on the books, U.S. Law Shield offers its members the ability to consult with a lawyer on legal questions about firearms. This member benefit is in addition to legal coverage for members for instances of self defense.
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