Biden government tightens measures against ghost guns

US President Joe Biden is taking tougher action against self-made weapons. These firearms, which are assembled from individual parts, are to be regulated more closely. This also applies to buyers.

In the fight against rampant gun violence in the United States, the government of President Joe Biden stricter rules for so-called ghost weapons decided. As Biden said in the White House rose garden on Monday, the most important individual parts of such weapons, which can be assembled by the buyer himself, must be serialized in the future. Also, like regular firearms, merchants are required to perform a background check on the purchaser when selling spirit weapons.

Biden complained about the rapid spread of ghost weapons, which are ordered as kits on the Internet and have so far been very difficult to track due to missing serial numbers. Last year, the investigative authorities confiscated around 20,000 suspected ghost weapons. That’s a tenfold increase in five years.

Often used by criminals

“These weapons are the weapons of choice for many criminals,” said the President, who displayed a kit of weapons in the Rose Garden of the White House. “It’s not difficult to put them together,” Biden said. “Criminals, terrorists and perpetrators of domestic violence can assemble a gun from a kit of guns in just 30 minutes.”

The new rules on ghost weapons are therefore not “extreme,” said Biden. “They are common sense.”

The new US government regulation makes it clear that ghost guns are subject to the same requirements as other firearms. In addition, arms dealers who come into possession of spirit weapons that are already in circulation are obliged to subsequently provide them with a serial number.

Minister of Justice: The investigators’ work will be made easier

Justice Secretary Merrick Garland said the new rule would “make it more difficult for criminals to obtain untraceable firearms.” In addition, this makes the investigators’ work easier because they “can retrieve the information they need to solve crimes”.

More than 45,000 ghost guns were seized between January 2016 and December 2021, according to US authorities. They are said to be linked to more than 690 cases of murder or attempted murder. In just under one percent of the cases, the weapons could be assigned to a buyer.

The United States is shaken again and again by gun attacks. According to the Gun Violence Archive website, almost 21,000 people were killed by firearms last year alone, not including suicides.

Biden has issued several executive orders aimed at curbing gun violence since taking office. For further measures, however, he would need Congress. There are advances for a sharper one gun law repeatedly failed due to opposition from the conservative Republicans. Biden again called on parliamentarians on Monday to pass a ban on the sale of assault rifles and more comprehensive background checks for gun buyers.

The president also nominated former US attorney Steve Dettelbach to head the ATF, which has not had a Senate-approved director since 2015. The ATF – the full name of the Authority for Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – is responsible, among other things, for the prosecution of violations of gun laws.

A year ago, Biden nominated former ATF investigator David Chipman, an advocate of strict gun control, as the new director of the federal agency. However, he had to withdraw the nomination last September in the face of opposition from opposition Republicans and reservations from some Democrats.

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