A Department of Justice (DOJ) document leaked Tuesday sheds light on President Joe Biden’s administration’s plans to restrict privately-made firearms, also known as “ghost guns.”
The draft of the 107-page document obtained by The Reload and reported Tuesday sketches the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ (ATF) proposed changes to federal regulation that will outlaw homemade firearms by unlicensed manufacturers.
Exclusive: Read the Leaked ATF Proposal to Ban “Ghost Guns” and Redefine What a Firearm Is https://t.co/VoX5ybPagb
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“Technological advances have also made it easier for unlicensed persons to make firearms at home for personal use from standalone parts or weapon parts kits, or by using 3D printers,” the document reads. “[T]hese privately made firearms (‘PMFs’) are not required by Federal law to have a serial number placed on the frame or receiver, making it difficult for law enforcement to determine where, by whom, or when they were manufactured, and to whom they were sold or otherwise disposed.”
The document cites data from the ATF Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information that indicates an upward trend in the number of “ghost guns” recovered by law enforcement from potential crime scenes. In the four-year period from 2016 to 2020, the document states, this number had quintupled.
The document proposes changing the definitions of regulated firearm “frame or receiver” “because they too narrowly limit the definition of receiver with respect to most current firearms and have led to erroneous district court decisions,” as reported by The Reload.
Any unfinished part that “may readily be converted” into a “frame or receiver” will now be treated as a receiver requiring sellers to perform background checks on buyers, obtain federal licenses and mark the unfinished parts with serial numbers, according to the document.
Among other rule changes, the document also envisions creation of a definition for “privately made firearms.” The new definition will cover any gun without a serial number manufactured by a person not possessing a federal gun-making license.
Biden’s administration has been considering an executive order that would strengthen regulations of homemade firearms with no serial numbers, according to a February report. (RELATED: ‘Who In God’s Name Needs A Weapon That Can Hold 100 Rounds?’: Biden Calls For More Action On Gun Control)
“I want to rein in the proliferation of so-called ‘ghost guns.’ These are guns that are homemade, built from a kit that include the directions on how to finish the firearm. You can go buy the kit. They have no serial numbers, so when they show up at a crime scene, they can’t be traced,” Biden said during a White House speech on April 8. “I want to see these kits treated as firearms under the Gun Control Act.”