US cracks down on 'ghost guns'. What are they?

WION Web Team
Washington, United States Updated: Apr 11, 2022, 07:28 PM(IST)

A man looks at a website which sells gun kits or "ghost guns". According to the research, the usage of such weapons has been on the rise, with the number of reports nearly doubling to over 19,000 from 2020 to 2021. Photograph:( AFP )

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The new rule, which has been in the works for a year, tackles a type of weapon that has nearly doubled in its appearance in police records between 2020 and 2021, according to law enforcement officials

On Monday, President Joe Biden will unveil new measures to combat so-called "ghost guns," including an executive order that will tighten limits on weapons that can be constructed in minutes at home and are difficult to track due to their absence of serial numbers.

According to administration officials, the new regulation specifies that weapons part kits that may readily be assembled into a working handgun will be subject to the same criteria as commercially accessible fully manufactured guns.

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The new rule, which has been in the works for a year, tackles a type of weapon that has nearly doubled in its appearance in police records between 2020 and 2021, according to law enforcement officials.

Speaking to AFP on the condition of anonymity, a Biden administration official remarked, "these are the criminal's weapon of choice."

As per the new legislation, dealers selling these weapons component kits must now complete a background check on potential buyers.

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The US Justice Department said in a statement that gun kit makers must include a serial number on crucial weapon components, and licenced dealers who take a "ghost gun" into their inventory must likewise include a serial number.

In order to aid traceability, the new rule mandates that federally licenced guns dealers preserve records for as long as they are in business, rather than the current 20-year timeframe.

According to the research, the usage of such weapons has been on the rise, with the number of reports nearly doubling to over 19,000 from 2020 to 2021.

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Only 0.98 per cent of suspected "ghost weapons" given in by law enforcement could be traced to an individual purchaser over the last five years, said ATF.

"This rule will make it harder for criminals and other prohibited persons to obtain untraceable guns, will help ensure that law enforcement officers can retrieve the information they need to solve crimes, and will help reduce the number of untraceable firearms flooding our communities," US Attorney General Merrick Garland said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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