WASHINGTON (Fwrd Axis) — In an effort to tackle gun violence, President Joe Biden on Monday announced new restrictions on so-called ghost guns as well as his new nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
Speaking from the Rose Garden, Biden announced restrictions on “ghost guns”, homemade guns that can be made from a kit. He announced a rule that would require makers of gun kits to include a serial number on the firearms and for the sellers to follow the same procedures as with other guns they sell, including requiring a background check prior to the buyer making a purchase.
“They call this rule I’m about to announce extreme. ‘Extreme,'” Biden said. “But let me ask you — is it extreme to protect police officers, extreme to protect our children, extreme to keep guns out of the hands of people who couldn’t even pack a background check?”
“It’s not hard to put together,” Biden said of the ghost guns, using a prop. “Anyone could order it in the mail, anyone … Terrorists and domestic abusers can go from a gun kit to a gun in as little as 30 minutes. Buyers aren’t required to pass background checks because guns have no serial numbers.”
The new rule will give another definition to the word “firearm” under the Gun Control Act, to cover “buy build shoot” kits that people can buy online and assemble themselves at home. It will make these kits under federal law that currently applies to other firearms. White House officials say the goal is to keep untraceable guns off of the streets and out of the hands of both criminals and minors.
“We call them ghost guns because they can’t be traced, but make no mistake. They are real. They can shoot to kill, and they do,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. “For years criminals have sought out these unmarked guns to murder and to maim. That’s why the attorney general has signed a rule that updates our regulations to keep up with changes in technology.”
Biden also nominated former U.S. Attorney Steve Dettelbach to serve as head of the ATF, which has been without a confirmed director since 2015.
Back in September, the White House withdrew David Chipman’s nomination after opposition from Republicans in Congress. The nearly seven-month wait has left gun violence advocates furious with the Biden administration for waiting so long to name a new nominee for the post.
“Starting today, weapons like the one used in Saugus High School and to ambush deputies that are here with us today are being treated like the deadly firearms they are,” Biden said. “If you commit a crime with a ghost gun, expect federal prosecution.”
Many of the proposals Biden laid out require action from Congress, which has been unable to reach an agreement with Republicans against stricter gun reform, and Biden facing opposition from members of his own party. Gun control advocates have been pushing the White House to go further.
“The president has done more to fight gun violence and keep our community safe than any president in history in his first year in office,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday, adding gun violence is a major issue that is obviously one “that is close to his heart, something he’s passionate about and has been for decades.”