Vice: Don't expect Biden's "ghost gun" rules to do anything

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File

Vice isn’t the kind of news outlet I really expect a lot from.

Back in their early days, they seemed to have a bit more balance to their stories, but most of what I’ve seen in recent years is rather left-leaning. That’s what made a report on how little Biden’s ghost gun rules will accomplish stand out.

After all, Vice is saying the kind of thing we’ve been saying for ages.

When President Joe Biden stood in the Rose Garden on Monday afternoon and picked up the components to a disassembled handgun, he was aiming to prove a point: The parts sold online in so-called “ghost gun” kits can be turned into deadly handguns with relative ease.

“Folks, a felon, a terrorist, a domestic abuser can go from a gun kit to a gun in as little as 30 minutes,” Biden said. “Buyers aren’t required to pass background checks because these guns have no serial numbers. When they show up at a crime scene, they can’t be traced.”

But without a major change in federal law, several experts told VICE News, anyone who wants to build an untraceable ghost gun will have little trouble acquiring the necessary parts, even after Biden’s new rules are enforced in the coming months.

“It’s going to have zero effect,” said Rick Vasquez, former chief of the ATF’s Firearms Technology Branch, who now works as a private consultant. Vasquez said the firearms industry has anticipated the changes for over a year and adapted by limiting the sale of kits with “readily assembled” components, which going forward will be regulated like other firearms.

But Vasquez says the rules won’t stop dealers from selling individual unfinished parts, or prevent private citizens from using a 3D-printer to make an unserialized, untraceable Glock-type pistol or AR-style rifle (among the most common models of ghost guns) in their living room.

“Unless the ATF is checking every single UPS package and mail carrier in the U.S., they’re not going to know I have the components to complete a firearm,” Vasquez said. “Do you think the people who are making these illegally are going to worry about going to a licensed dealer and getting their gun registered? Absolutely not.”

Bingo.

And this is a former honcho at the ATF, and he can recognize that while these rules are being touted as the answer to the so-called ghost gun “problem,” they’re not.

Of course, as I’ve been arguing for a while, there’s not a huge issue with homemade firearms and crime. It’s simply not as big of an issue as politicians and the media are trying to claim.

Yet if people believe what they’re being told, that’s enough. More than that, if Biden believes it, he’ll push executive orders trying to redefine everything.

Outside of criminals still manufacturing firearms, there’s the simple fact that bad guys don’t have much of a problem trading stolen guns on the black market. That’s been happening for ages now and it’ll be happening ages from now. That’s being ignored and that’s where most of the guns are coming from.

But Biden wanted to make “ghost guns” the boogieman and now he’s done something about them.

Watch them accomplish nothing.