DOJ Proposes Regulations To Target “Ghost Guns”

Stock image: Kamenev / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 3.0

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Justice Department has proposed a new regulation on firearm definitions that would target unmarked weapons known as “ghost guns.”

The DOJ says ghost guns can be made with unregulated kits, parts, or 3D printers and are sold without identifying marks.

According to a news release from the department on Friday, 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 DOJ’s proposed rule seeks to reclassify the definition of a firearm, to close the regulatory loophole associated with producing ghost guns.

The proposed rule, once established, would help address the ghost gun increase in three ways:

  • The rule would say that retailers must run background checks before selling kits that contain the parts necessary for someone to make a gun at home
  • The rule would require that manufacturers include a serial number on the firearm “frame or receiver” in easy-to-build firearm kits
  • The rule would set requirements for federally licensed firearms dealers to have a serial number added to 3D printed guns or other un-serialized firearms they take into inventory

In effect, the proposed rule would make it easier for law enforcement to trace unmarked guns used to commit violent crimes.

Once the rule is published in the Federal Register, the public will have 90 days to submit comments.

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