Manufacturers of non-serialized gun kits and parts are having sales as the start date for new anti-gun regulations approaches.
On August 25, new regulations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) will go into effect, requiring previously permissible gun parts to be registered with the ATF and issued a serial number.
President Joe Biden’s administration explained in a statement:
“This final rule bans the business of manufacturing the most accessible ghost guns, such as unserialized ‘buy build shoot’ kits that individuals can buy online or at a store without a background check and can readily assemble into a working firearm in as little as 30 minutes with equipment they have at home.”
A “ghost gun” is a firearm that does not have serial code numbers and can be assembled with relative ease.
Law enforcement officers typically use serial numbers to track firearms suspected of being used in a crime. With a serial number, they can usually identify when, where, and to whom the weapon was sold. When a non-serialized gun is used in a crime, it is significantly more difficult to find a purchase history.
Previously, people could purchase non-serialized gun kits or parts without federal interference or regulation as the pieces did not constitute a firearm in the eyes of interstate trade regulation.
One of the most common non-serialized parts is what is known as an “80%” lower receiver for an AR-15 rifle. These parts would be left unfinished by the manufacturer, with the buyer required to perform additional fabrication for them to be used.
According to preexisting guidelines from the ATF, these 80% lowers did not constitute a weapon, unlike a fully completed receiver. Therefore, the unfinished parts did not require serial numbers, buyers did not need a background check, and sellers did not require a Federal Firearm License (FFL)
In response to the rule, manufacturers of non-serialized parts are offering last-minute sales to move inventory before the new regulation takes effect. One company urged customers to “grab freedom while [they] can.”
Another company, 80% Arms, denounced the rule change and noted, “We are working with our legal team to fight this unprecedented rule that completely hijacked our legal system and bypassed the formal process of how legislation should be created.”
Several other organizations, including Houston-based manufacturers, plan on filing lawsuits against the ATF.
Opponents of the new regulation claim that it is government overreach and an ineffectual move that will have little to no positive effect on crime.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) joined 21 other senators in issuing a resolution opposing the regulation. “We’re pushing back,” Cruz explained, “we want to stop the false narrative that links the rise in crime to ‘ghost guns’ and firearms, and we want to protect law-abiding citizens who are exercising their Second Amendment rights.”
Anti-gun activists have also expressed dissatisfaction with Biden and his administration for not doing enough to pass laws and expand regulations, as previously reported by The Dallas Express. This new regulation, however, will meet some of their requests as the midterm election cycle is in full swing.