US President Joe Biden has issued the action for the purpose of modifying “ghost guns” – weapons that can be produced without a serial number and other identifiers that make tracking them difficult – are monitored and enforced by teams US law is seen as a growing threat.
Ghost guns can be produced in a variety of ways, including “gun kits” and 3D printing. A set consists of a set of parts – often referred to as an “80 percent gun kit” – such as the barrel, trigger, spring set, and other essential components.
Once the kit arrives, the owner completes the gun by machining components and assembling the gun.
They are not classified as firearms when sold due to what Attorney General Merrick Garland calls a “regulatory loophole” in Thursday’s notice of measures.
Ghost guns can also be crafted through a combination of parts produced through 3D printing and machining of other parts such as the barrel of a gun.
One of the most infamous uses of ghost guns occurred in June 2020, when Steven Carrillo, who was allegedly involved The boogaloo movement, used a homemade weapon believed to kill two law enforcement officers and attempted to kill four other policemen and one civilian in California.
Garland said the Biden administration has ordered the Justice Department to issue regulations restricting the dissemination of ghost guns within 30 days by covering the hole. Biden’s moves aimed at the “proliferation” of ghost guns.
The Brady: United Against Gun Violence welcomed the measures in a statement to Al Jazeera.
“The actions of President Biden will address gun violence and its many forms, from mass shootings to community violence,” said the group. “From taking action to stop the untraceable ‘ghost gun’ to investing in community violence interventions, these actions target many aspects of gun violence and address this crisis like a public health epidemic. “
Long wait, litigation is ahead
While gun control advocates welcome these measures, they still face an uphill battle.
Cody Wilson, founder and spokesperson for Defense Distributed and Ghost Gunner, organizations that aim to make 3D-printed guns and perfect 80% more accessible gun kits, told Al Jazeera Biden’s rules can never be codified.
Biden will also instruct the Justice Department to issue a rule to “clarify when a device is marketed as an effective stabilizer that turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle complying with requirements. of the National Gun Act, ”the statement said.
These products turn the AR-15 style pistols into a rifle by adding a splint like a stock and a shorter gun barrel.
The gunmen were accused in Rock shoots series, killed 10 people, used such a stabilizer.
Biden’s order requires the Justice Department to propose ghost rules guns within 30 days and stabilizer rule within 60 days.
But the rule-building process “gets in the way for a long time,” says Wilson.
When the Department of Justice proposes a new rule, it passes the Administrative Procedures Act, which requires a period of public comment before being included in the Federal Register, which causes it to becomes the last rule.
These periods leave rules open to legal challenges and pressure from lawmakers.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Guns proposed a similar rule to regulate pistol stabilizer last year, but it was withdrawn in December 2020, under pressure from the Senate Majority Leader at it was now Mitch McConnell and the National Rifle Association, among others.
POINT: The ATF has retracted the pistol stabilizer guide.
– NRA (@NRA) December 24, 2020
The public comment period also allows time for lawsuits. Defense Distributed sued the federal agencies during this time, and Wilson hopes “some groups of plaintiffs will try to bring it to court”.
Wilson said a new attempt to classify the 80% kit as a handgun according to a regulatory framework could keep the kit off the market, but this “really helps Ghost Gunner and the engineering. other to gain market share ”.
Uncertainty management territory
Biden’s orders have to face murky regulatory waters around the 3D printed gun.
Federal law currently allows unlicensed 3D gun printing, as long as metal parts are used.
Some states have enacted additional laws, such as California, which require serial numbers on all firearms regardless of their production vehicle, and New Jersey, requiring a pre-federal manufacturing license. when printing.
Share plans for 3D printed guns Technically still legal, thanks in part to the Defense Distributed lawsuits.
Some say concerns about 3D printed guns are overblown. It is possible to produce purely plastic weapons, but “you’re talking about equipment that costs $ 10k and in some cases $ 100k”, Pete Basiliere, founder of Monadnock Insights, provides insights based on on research on 3D printing, told Al Jazeera.
Basiliere warns that the targeting regulations 3D printing of weapons should consider history: “People have been making weapons at home and in their stores forever, as long as we have weapons.”
Basiliere concludes that don’t “focus on 3D printers like the bad guys”.