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Ghost guns


Ghost guns are homemade firearms that lack serial numbers or other identifying marks - and are therefore untraceable when recovered from a crime scene. Also known as an "80% receiver," or an "unfinished receiver," these parts are legally sold without background checks because they fail to meet the definition of a firearm. Under federal law, ghost guns are not illegal per se. A person does not need a license to make a weapon for personal use — only when manufacturing and selling weapons is a license required. This loophole allows sellers to break their weapons down into separate parts. In 2019 our ATF said that 30% of all guns now recovered in California were unserialized. Critics claim these do-it-yourself guns are emerging as a weapon of choice for people legally prohibited from buying firearms, and this has the potential to wreak havoc on every state and federal gun law on the books. They say that although ATF does not currently classify unfinished frames and receivers as firearms, as it once did, it could address the ghost gun problem by doing so again.

In a recent Executive Order, President Biden authorized the Justice Department to make kits and parts for ghost guns be treated as firearms, requiring these parts have serial numbers, and be subject to a background check. It is expected this order will be challenged in courts.

Pending Legislation: H.R.1454 - Ghost Guns Are Guns Act
Sponsor: Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY)
Status: House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security (Judiciary)
Chair: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX)












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Poll Opening Date
October 11, 2021
Poll Closing Date
October 17, 2021


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