Speed Reads


Biden announces restrictions on ghost guns: 'it's just basic common sense'

President Biden announced executive action restricting ghost guns during a press conference in the Rose Garden on Monday.

"Ghost guns" are guns assembled from kits that contain the parts necessary to build a firearm. Because these kits are not regulated as firearms, the parts do not have serial numbers, making the guns nearly impossible for police to trace. Justice Department statistics show that between 2016 and 2020, law enforcement officers recovered nearly 24,000 ghost guns from crime scenes.

The new rule "bans the business of manufacturing the most accessible ghost guns, including 'buy build shoot' kits that anyone can buy online or at a store without a background check," The Washington Post reports.

"The idea that someone on a terrorist list could purchase one of these guns is extreme?" Biden asked rhetorically, referring to the NRA's characterization of his new policy. "It isn't extreme. It's just basic common sense." The crowd applauded.

"You know, if you buy a couch you have to assemble, it's still a couch," Biden said. "If you order a package like this one over here that includes the parts you need and directions of assembling a functioning firearm, you bought a gun. Take a look," he continued, stepping away from the microphone and approaching a table, where he picked up a partially assembled firearm.

"Anyone can order it ... a felon, a terrorist, a domestic abuser can go from a gun kit to a gun in as little as 30 minutes," Biden said.

The NRA alleged that a recently passed Maryland law restricting ghost guns would "end the centuries-old practice of individuals building lawful firearms for personal use."

Biden also announced the nomination of Steve Dettelbach, a former U.S. attorney in Ohio, to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which has been without a Senate-confirmed director since 2015.