On Monday, April 11, 2022, President Joe Biden announced the Department of Justice’s “final rule” on ghost guns as part of his continued assault on the U.S. Second Amendment.
A “ghost gun” is a firearm without a serial number that is manufactured using 3D-printed parts or 80% receiver blank kits. Because these receivers require additional precision work before they can be assembled into a functional gun, they aren’t classified as firearms.
The DoJ’s rule makes it illegal to manufacture gun kits that lack serial numbers or sell completed firearms without serial numbers.
“Today, the United States Department of Justice is making it is illegal for a business to manufacture one of these kits without a serial number,” said Biden. “Illegal. Illegal for a licensed dealer to sell them without a background check.”[i]
The National Rifle Association said Biden’s administration doesn’t have the courage to tackle violent crime by putting those criminals behind bars.
“An administration that’s truly sincere and resolute about curbing violent crime rates would do one thing: take violent criminals off the streets immediately,” said Andrew Arulanandam, NRA Managing Director of Public Affairs.
Gun Owners of America vowed to fight the new rule as well.
“Just as we opposed the Trump Administration’s arbitrary ban on bump stocks, GOA will also sue Biden’s ATF to halt the implementation of this rule,” Aidan Johnston, GOA’s Director of Federal Affairs.[ii]
“The Constitution does not authorize the federal government to prevent you from making your own firearm,” wrote Congressman Thomas Massie on Twitter.[iii]
“This a fact that has been recognized for 200+ years. Also, Article 1, Section 1 (literally the first operative sentence in the Constitution) says Congress makes law, not POTUS!”
Massie’s comments point to Biden’s total inability to pass laws to achieve his political ends so he was left with little alternative but to use Department of Justice regulations to do an end-run around Congress.
In the United States, home-manufactured firearms for personal use don’t fall under the federal government’s authority to regulate interstate commerce, so it’s a legal activity as Congressman Massie said.
Several companies cater to home gunsmiths by selling 80% receiver blanks and parts kits. An 80% receiver blank requires, as the name suggests, additional machining before it can be turned into a functional firearm. The parts kit contains all the other parts needed to assemble the firearm once the final machining is complete.
The issue for “gun control” advocates is that individuals who manufacture their own firearms are not subject to state or federal background check regulations.
The issue for police forces across America is their inability to trace these guns because they lack serial numbers.
As of April 12, 2022, 25 states permit Constitutional Carry – meaning no state permit is required to legally carry a firearm.
Florida will likely join them later this year, meaning the battle for the Second Amendment is far from over.
Here in Canada, the RCMP declared receiver blanks (80% receivers) were prohibited devices in 2017 using “the adaptability clause of the definition of firearm.”[iv]