Democrats Pressure Biden To Issue Executive Order On "Ghost Guns"

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Once all the dust settled from the election, anti-gunners rejoiced throughout the land. After all, they’d created a perfect storm. Democrats controlled the House and Senate as well as the White House. Further, there seemed to be a desire among all those Democrats to pass gun control.

Sure enough, they’re working on making all of that happen, with only the filibuster in the Senate to potentially stem the tide.

On one issue, though, it seems some Democrats are wanting President Joe Biden to skip legislative answers and turn to executive action.

Four Democratic senators on Tuesday urged President Biden to take executive action curbing the use of so-called “ghost guns” as the administration contemplates its next steps on reforming firearm laws.

The lawmakers, led by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), asked Biden in a letter obtained by The Hill to consider executive action while Congress works on legislation to ban ghost guns, which are untraceable firearms that are usually ordered online and assembled at home.

“We write to ask that you take executive action to keep unserialized and untraceable firearms known as ‘ghost guns’ off our streets,” the senators wrote.

“Specifically, we request that you immediately direct the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to regulate these firearms under the Gun Control Act and ensure that they are subject to a background check,” the senators added. “Additionally, the ATF should collect data on when ghost guns are used in crimes and publicly release that information.”

Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) also signed onto the letter.

In other words, it was the usual suspects.

Here’s the problem with so-called ghost guns and any attempt to regulate them. At some point, you’ve got to draw a line. Making your own firearm has been legal in this country since before this country existed. Even King George didn’t try to tell colonists they couldn’t make their own firearms. That’s not going to change, either. Not with a simple stroke of a pen.

That means a line has to be drawn somewhere. The ATF currently only categorizes certain levels of complete receivers as firearms. They don’t draw any definitive lines other than complete (or close to it) or incomplete. Yes, I know, we typically see the “80 percent” number thrown around, but the ATF doesn’t really recognize the term.

What would have to happen is that the ATF would have to redraw the line.

Now, this isn’t a good thing, but it’s also not likely to stop people from building their own firearms. This is the age of the 3D printer, after all. The ATF doesn’t have the power to change the law, only to adjust certain regulations. They can’t ban people from making their own guns.

Of course, I don’t expect Feinstein, Blumenthal, or Markey to actually know that, nor do I expect Biden to realize that either. They probably think that if they classify all the current incomplete receivers as actual receivers then suddenly, the issue would go away.

It won’t.

In fact, it’s the surest way to sell more 3D printers, home CNC milling machines, and other items that can be used to make firearms from scratch. That’s it.

I’m sure the industries making those items would be thankful for the uptick in business, of course, but it won’t stop people from making guns, and honestly? That’s a damn good thing. Knowing people can keep making firearms despite the machinations of anti-gun lawmakers means that tyranny can be resisted no matter how hard they try to inhibit our ability to resist.

 

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Dec 04, 2021 11:30 AM ET