Ghost Guns, the ominous term used to describe unserialized and untraceable firearms, have become a concerning issue in recent times. These firearms are constructed from components acquired either as kits or separate pieces, making them fully operational weapons that are just as deadly as their serialized counterparts.

In August 2022, the Biden-Harris administration took steps to address the proliferation of ghost guns by implementing a rule that mandates the serialization of all ghost gun kits and certain parts. This rule also requires these items to be sold by licensed dealers and subject to background checks under the Brady Background Check system.

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Unserialized and untraceable, ghost guns are constructed using unfinished frames or receivers, which are the regulated components of firearms. When these parts remain unfinished by a certain degree, they evade regulation, allowing them to be sold without background checks and without serialization. Consequently, law enforcement faces significant challenges in tracing the origin of these firearms when they are used in criminal activities.

The availability of ghost gun parts has created a dangerous loophole that undermines existing gun regulations, posing serious risks to public safety. Criminals and individuals barred from owning firearms have turned to ghost guns to bypass background checks and evade legal restrictions.

Statistics reveal a disturbing trend, with a sharp increase in the recovery of ghost guns by law enforcement agencies in recent years. Between 2016 and 2021, the number of recovered ghost guns nationwide surged by 1,000%, highlighting the scale of the issue. These unregulated firearms have been linked to various crimes, including homicides, school shootings, and robberies, across different cities in the United States.

Before the federal rule change, the lack of regulation surrounding unfinished frames and receivers allowed individuals to purchase ghost gun kits and parts without restriction. This circumvented federal and state laws, enabling the unchecked proliferation of these firearms.

Building a ghost gun is alarmingly simple, with gun kits including all necessary components and instructions for assembly. With minimal effort, individuals can transform these parts into fully functional firearms, posing a significant threat to public safety.

President Biden’s executive order and the subsequent ATF rule aimed to address the ghost gun epidemic by subjecting these kits and parts to federal regulations. The rule mandates serialization, licensing, and background checks for all ghost gun components, aligning them with standard firearm regulations.

Despite these measures, challenges remain, including addressing the vast number of ghost guns already in circulation and countering attempts by the ghost gun industry to circumvent regulations. It is crucial for state and federal legislators to enact comprehensive legislation to combat the proliferation of ghost guns and safeguard public safety.

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