Under Pressure, the Biden Administration Is Cracking Down on “Ghost Guns”

“No more waiting on these proposed federal rules.”

A ''ghost gun'' at 10th Avenue near 211th Street in Manhattan on Sept. 27, 2021, where police shot a gunman earlier in the day.Luiz Ribeiro/TNS via Zuma

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The Biden administration plans to release a new rule restricting “ghost guns” as soon as Monday, the Associated Press reported.

Ghost guns, untraceable firearms often made from parts bought online and assembled at home, are increasingly being used in shooting and showing up at crime scenes, part of a rise in murders and violent crime. The feds and some states are scrambling to keep up. Maryland on Friday joined 10 other mostly Democratic-leaning states and Washington, D.C. in banning or restricting the purchase or use of ghost guns. 

The new proposed federal regulation from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, would change the definition of a firearm to include unfinished parts, like a handgun frame, that can be assembled into a gun. The ATF also wants to require dealers who sell ghost gun parts to be licensed by the federal government, to require they include serial numbers on the parts, and mandate that buyers of gun components pass background checks. The new proposal updates a draft regulation first proposed nearly a year ago. Democrats are pushing the Biden administration to move faster.

“No more waiting on these proposed federal rules,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a statement Sunday. Ghost guns are “too easy to build, too hard to trace and too dangerous to ignore.”

Pro gun groups are expected to oppose the proposed rule in litigation.

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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