Today’s entry: How many of these so-called ghost guns are there and what’s the law Biden’s changing with the EO?
Bottom Line: President Biden hasn’t yet signed an executive order changing any existing gun policy in the US. The executive order he signed was to order a series of reviews of policy for future action. Most of which would have to come legislatively. There is very little President Biden can do unilaterally regarding gun control. You might recall President Trump said as much when he signed the executive order banning bump stocks. The mostly unregulated category of “ghost guns” is a potential area of opportunity for him to take executive action. His executive order called for AG Merrick Garland to put together a recommendation regarding ghost guns within 30 days that he could sign that’d combat the ability to create those firearms.
Ghost guns are any firearms which lack a serial number, meaning they aren’t fully manufactured. With the advent of 3D printing, we’ve seen a proliferation of these guns being created and it’s believed 3D printing of guns is now outpacing the DIY kits referred to as 80% receivers. These are mostly manufactured firearms which require final assembly by the purchaser. It’s the closest a company can get to manufacturing a firearm without being subjected to the laws governing those manufactures. If President Biden has it his way, any firearms lacking a serial number will be illegal.
That’s what he’s seeking to change through executive action. We’ll have to wait to see wait AG Garland creates for him to sign before knowing the scope and having a better idea as to if it’ll survive a legal challenge – which would be likely to occur no matter what’s in it. The language and scope of the EO will be key. Regarding the number of ghost guns?
There’s no way to know how many guns lacking serial numbers have been created. The closest we can get is by analyzing sales data from the 80% receiver kit companies. The leading manufacture of these kits' averages selling around 5,200 per month in the United States. There’s no available data regarding 3D printed firearms. The best we have to go by are those which have been confiscated by law enforcement for their use in a crime.
Florida has the 22nd most restrictive gun policy in the country, it stands to reason that we may have slightly above average use of ghost guns in Florida. But that’s just an educated guess, which is as close as we’ll come to an answer.
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