Biden's 'ghost gun' regulations can be enforced: Supreme CourtGhost guns

Biden's 'ghost gun' regulations can be enforced: Supreme CourtGhost guns

Temporary ruling reverses lower court’s decision that invalidated president's efforts to regulate homemade gun kits

By Darren Lyn

HOUSTON, United States (AA) - The US Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that President Joe Biden's "ghost gun" regulations can be enforced while a legal battle continues about whether homemade gun kits should be regulated by the federal government.

The high court's 5-4 ruling temporarily invalidates a lower court order that barred the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from cracking down on ghost guns.

The ATF protocols that were implemented in August 2022 updated the rules of the Gun Control Act regarding the definition of a firearm to include ghost guns -- homemade gun kits that can be ordered online and put together at home. There are no serial numbers, so ghost guns are untraceable.

Under the Biden administration law, manufacturers and sellers of certain kits are required to mark their products with serial numbers, obtain proper licenses, conduct background checks and maintain records to allow law enforcement to trace the firearms when they are used in crimes.

Gun advocates and makers and sellers of ghost guns argued that the regulations are unlawful even though the rule does not prohibit the purchase, sale or possession of any gun and does not bar anyone who is legally allowed to have a firearm from making a gun kit at home.

The emergency application by the Biden administration to temporarily keep the ghost gun rules in place said not doing so would harm the public "by reopening the floodgates to the tide of untraceable ghost guns flowing into our Nation's communities."

"Every day that the vacatur is in place is another day that untraceable ghost guns are entering circulation, often through sales to prohibited persons," Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar said in the emergency application. "Once those guns are sold, the damage is done: Some will already be in the hands of criminals and other prohibited persons, and when they are inevitably used in crimes, they are untraceable."

The administration maintained that under the Supreme Court's temporary order manufacturers and retailers can still sell gun kits as long as they comply with federal requirements that apply to the commercial sales of other firearms.

The 5th Circuit Court has scheduled oral arguments on the ghost gun measure for September, but Prelogar said the court may not issue a decision until 2025.

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