"Ghost gun" rules go into effect today, but don't expect much

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

For a while now, the media has been all aflutter over unserialized firearms, which they love to call “ghost guns.” There have been endless media reports all claiming that the threat from these firearms is growing, all without providing any evidence supporting their assertions.

It didn’t matter, though, because President Joe Biden–never one to let an opportunity to infringe upon the Second Amendment go to waste–gave these people what they wanted.

New rules regarding so-called ghost guns go into effect today after a last-ditch legal effort failed.

The Biden administration’s new regulations on so-called ghost guns are set to go into effect Wednesday after a federal judge denied a request to pause the rules while a legal challenge makes its way through the court system.

Chief U.S. District Judge Peter Welte in Fargo, North Dakota, rejected a request for injunctive relief in a Republican-backed lawsuit that seeks to stop the White House from implementing the new restrictions that will treat ghost guns — which can be made from parts bought online or with 3D printers — like other firearms sold in the U.S.

“The Plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate likelihood of success on the merits and irreparable harm,” Welte wrote in his decision. “Accordingly, the balance of the Dataphase factors weigh against injunctive relief, and the Court denies the Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary and/or permanent injunction.”

That same report goes on to claim that the number of “ghost guns” has been on the rise in recent years, but admits that there are no hard numbers as to just how many.

And, to be fair, that’s probably accurate.

However, from what we know, most of these are built by law-abiding citizens who are looking to build a firearm for all sorts of lawful reasons. Some people just like making stuff with their hands. Others, frankly, don’t like having to create a paper trail whenever they get a firearm–and that’s not without good reason, either.

Now, though, sellers of kits will have to treat these parts as if they’re completed firearms and include serial numbers, as well as forcing people to buy them through an FFL.

But hey, as violent crime remains high, surely this will make the problem better, right? Right?

Well, not so much.

Police departments in Arlington, Dallas, and Lewisville told the CBS 11 I-Team they’ve seen an increase in ‘ghost guns’ in the past year, but the untraceable firearms make up a tiny fraction of the total number of guns their departments recover.

So far this year, Dallas police said it has recovered three times as many ‘ghost guns’ from crimes in 2022 (45 – ‘ghost guns’) than it did in all of 2020 (14 – ‘ghost guns’).

We are starting to see more and more,” said Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia. “But it’s less than half of a percentage point and so here we have violent crime and shootings that are being committed at a larger rate and a larger percentage with weapons that have been already legally manufactured.”

And really, that’s consistent with what we know of these so-called ghost guns and their alleged use in crime.

In March, I wrote about Illinois and their push for a law against these unserialized firearms. At the time, there were a grand total of 325 homicides since 2016.

Now, keep in mind that there were more than 19,000 gun-related homicides in 2020 alone. As Chief Garcia said, they’re less than half of a percentage point.

So while the Biden administration celebrates putting a hard kibosh on what many people viewed as a fun and internally-rewarding hobby, he’s done absolutely nothing to reduce violent crime in the United States. Nothing at all.

Then again, isn’t that par for the course for gun control?