OAN’s Stephanie Stahl
2:28 PM – Tuesday, October 17, 2023
The Supreme Court has approved the Biden Administration’s authority to classify untraceable homemade weapons, known as “ghost guns,” as firearms under federal law.
On Monday, the court’s decision granted the Justice Department’s request to remove a previous court ruling, allowing ghost gun regulations to stay in place while legal challenges from firearm manufacturers proceed in lower courts.
Ghost guns are made from kits that can be bought in store or online. Consumers can assemble pieces from the kit into fully operational firearms. These guns do not contain serial numbers, do not require background checks, and do not generate transfer records for easy tracking.
Critics argue that they appeal to criminals and individuals who are legally prohibited from purchasing firearms.
In August 2022, The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) introduced regulations to address the growing prevalence of homemade weapons.
These laws required commercial manufacturers and sellers to “mark” their products with serial numbers and maintain records that enable law enforcement to trace firearms involved in criminal activities.
However, this rule does not forbid the sale or ownership of ghost gun kits, and it does not prevent individuals from buying these kits. Rather, it mandates adherence to federal laws governing the commercial sale of firearms.
The gun manufacturers challenged the regulations in court, and Federal Judge Reed O’Connor in Texas issued a nationwide injunction barring the rule from going into effect.
In August, the Supreme Court temporarily stopped a judge’s decision that had blocked the regulation, reinstating the rule while an appeal was in progress.
Notably, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Amy Coney Barrett, both Republicans, aligned with the liberal justices in favor of the legislation.
In the Justice Department’s emergency application to the justices, Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar called the lower court ruling “a grave threat to public safety.”
“The lack of background checks makes ghost guns uniquely appealing to felons, minors, and other prohibited persons – and because when ghost guns are inevitably used in crime, they are essentially impossible to trace,” Prelogar contended.
The government appealed to the Supreme Court to not just temporarily suspend but completely invalidate the lower court rulings.
The Supreme Court has once more rejected the lower court decisions, nullifying them and permitting the ATF regulations to take effect while the legal proceedings continue.
No opposing views or disagreements were recorded.
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