U.S. President Joe Biden will target guns beginning with a rule about privately made guns Monday, the Associated Press reported.
The so-called “ghost guns” lack serial numbers because they are made by individual gunsmiths or 3D printers. Law enforcement report a spike in such guns turning up at crime scenes.
The rule has been winding its way through the federal regulation process for approximately one year. Gun safety groups and congressional Democrats have been nagging the Justice Department to complete the rule for months. The expected rule will probably be met with heavy resistance from gun groups that will likely end in lawsuits.
Sources noted by the AP reportedly said the rule would be announced within 30 days but the exact timing of the announcement has not been set. The report added the unnamed sources could not discuss the matter publicly and only agreed to speak anonymously.
President Biden will be joined by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to announce the rule requiring buyers of ghost guns to undergo background checks. The homemade firearms are often assembled from parts and milled with a lathe or built with a metal 3D printer. Almost none are assigned serial numbers that can be used to trace them. It is legal to build a gun in a home or a workshop, and there is currently no federal requirement for a background check.
Within the next 60 days, the Justice Department will reportedly issue a proposed rule tightening pistol-stabilizing brace regulations. That is a device like the one used by the Boulder, Colorado, shooter in a massacre that left 10 dead. The rule would designate pistols with stabilizing braces as short-barreled rifles, which require a federal license to own under existing firearms statutes. Short-barreled rifles are subject to a more thorough application process and a $200 tax.
Model red flag legislation is also expected to be published by the Justice Department within 60 days. The Biden administration says that will make it easier for states to adopt their own red flag laws, which allow citizens to petition a court to allow police to confiscate weapons from people deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.
Finally, Biden is reportedly considering nominating Steve Dettelbach, a former U.S. attorney from Ohio, to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The president’s first nomination, for gun-control advocate David Chipman, stalled after months of opposition in the Senate.
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