It comes as no surprise that the federal government is continuing its crusade against ghost guns, or ready-to-assemble gun kits, also known as 80% lowers. The latest is Sen. Chuck Schumer, who demanded that the Biden administration crackdown on these untraceable firearms.
"There is absolutely no doubt about it - ghost guns continue to haunt New York, and pose a serious threat to our public safety," Schumer told reporters earlier this week.
"We're asking the administration to act: Close the ghost gun loophole as quickly as we can," he added. "Stop ghost guns from coming into our city, our communities that are killing [people], particularly our kids."
Schumer said ghost guns are sold as separate components and don't need a background check to purchase. He warned when these components are pieced together, they create a fully operational firearm that can end up in the wrong hands of "felons" and "spousal abusers."
The Senate majority leader said the ATF should define these "partially complete frames" as firearms and subject buyers to background checks.
In May, the Department of Justice proposed a rule that would require gun shops and online retailers to conduct background checks on those who wanted to purchase 80% lowers. The proposed rule also wanted manufacturers to add serial numbers to the frames. He predicted that if the federal government passed such a law, it would prevent ghost guns from ending up in the wrong hands.
But not so fast, says Baltimore-based gunshop and gun policy advocacy group The Machine Gun Nest (TMGN), who warned that more regulation of the firearms industry would only push criminals to print 3D weapons.
"Nowadays, all someone needs is a 3D printer off Amazon, a few spindles of pla filament, and a CAD file to print a weapon at home. There's simply no way for the government to continue a regulation spree on the industry and for any successful outcomes to materialize. It's a losing war, just like the war on drugs.
"What will the Feds ban next? 3D Printers?" TMGN opined.
During the last year and a half of panic gun buying, mostly due to the virus pandemic and social unrest of 2020, Americans also hoarded ghost gun kits in anticipation the government would crack down on these unserialized frames.
If there's one thing the government likes doing, it's the art of control, and the best way to do that is to continue regulating the gun industry into non-existence.