Pennsylvania AG wrong about impact of "ghost gun" rules

(AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)

We now have rules banning the sale of “ghost gun” kits. The rule doesn’t end unserialized firearms by any stretch, but it does stop companies from selling kits that will allow someone to complete a receiver in their own workshops.

Unsurprisingly, anti-gun voices are celebrating the rule going into effect.

One such voice is Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro released a statement applauding the new federal gun regulations that have gone into effect this week.

“For years convicted felons, violent drug dealers, have all been able to buy these guns at gun shows without a background check,” Shapiro said. “With these new federal regulations taking effect today and being implemented in our Commonwealth, we are making it harder for gun kits to end up in the hands of criminals and easier for law enforcement to track crime guns in their investigations. All this helps make Pennsylvania communities safer.”

Except, it doesn’t.

First, so-called ghost guns aren’t nearly the problem they’ve been made out to be. As of a March report, only 325 unserialized firearms were used in homicides since 2016. Considering we had nearly 20,000 firearm-related homicides in 2020 alone, it doesn’t seem like the problem is “ghost guns.”

Further, convicted felons weren’t going to gun shows and buying these kits. Other parties were typically buying then and making the guns, then selling them to criminals. That’s not going to change, either, because while the rule restricted the kits, we live in the era of the 3D printer which can churn out the same kind of receiver while the maker sleeps.

So even if so-called ghost guns were as big of a problem as people like Shapiro claim, don’t expect there to be a huge reduction in them on our city streets.

But what if the law worked exactly as advertised and they were as big of an issue as he claims? Wouldn’t that, make Pennsylvania safer?

Don’t be absurd.

Look, violent crime has been around for ages. So-called “gun crime” has been as well. Bad guys got guns well before these kits were available, so even if they were a huge problem and such guns became impossible to get, the bad guys would simply obtain them through other avenues.

“But muh tracing!”

Tracing can only help so much. It’s useless with regard to stolen guns, which make up most firearms used in crime. Further, as noted, so-called ghost guns are only used in a minority of crimes as it is, yet has tracing really made our streets that much safer?

Not really.

So at every level, Shapiro is celebrating rules that won’t do a thing he’s claiming. Then again, to acknowledge that would require Shapiro to suggest that gun control simply doesn’t work. As a Democrat, that would likely end his political career.

Not that he would believe such a thing anyway. This is what we’re used to seeing from people like Shapiro, namely Democrats elected to statewide office because they appeal to urban, anti-gun voters.

Which is fine. They’re entitled to vote for who they want.

It’s just that whoever they want isn’t entitled to his own “facts.”