US President Joe Biden has announced a ban on the manufacture and sale of “ghost guns,” homemade firearms whose lack of serial numbers makes them difficult to track when used in the commission of a crime. The president officially announced the new rule on Monday, rendering it illegal for a business to manufacture a firearm without a serial number.
Specifically, the rule classifies so-called “buy build shoot” kits – do-it-yourself packages that can be purchased without a background check and constructed at home – as “firearms” under the Gun Control Act, meaning makers and sellers of such kits require licenses and must perform background checks before making a sale. Another new rule requires sellers to keep records of purchasers for as long as they are in business.
The restrictions are part of the Justice Department’s National Ghost Gun Enforcement Initiative, launched in February to prosecute those who use ghost guns in the commission of crimes. The project also aims to update the language used in gun control legislation with an eye toward shutting down the unrestricted sale of 3D-printed weapons, the plans for which are often shared online.