• By The Financial District


The US Justice Department on Friday released a proposed rule that would crack down on self-assembled "ghost guns," a measure promised by the White House last month as part of a larger effort to curb mass shootings and community bloodshed.

The Justice Department issued a proposed regulation that would require retailers to run background checks before selling kits that contain the parts necessary for someone to readily make a gun at home.

It will take effect later this year unless it is held up by a court challenge. The proposed rule would also require the inclusion of serial numbers on parts used in easy-to-build firearm kits, making it easier for law enforcement to track guns used in violent crimes, Jan Wolfe reported for Reuters.

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The rule marks the first time since 1968 that the definition of “firearm” has been updated in the U.S. code, the Justice Department said in a press release. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement that the proposed rule "would help keep guns out of the wrong hands and make it easier for law enforcement to trace guns used to commit violent crimes."

Gun-control advocates have long said ghost guns allow someone to obtain a firearm without having to go through the background checks they would otherwise face.

On April 8, President Joe Biden called on the Justice Department to propose a new rule on ghost guns within 30 days.

"The parts have no serial numbers, so when they show up at a crime scene, they can't be traced," Biden said on April 28 in his first address to Congress.

"The buyers of ghost gun kits aren't required to pass a background check. Anyone from a criminal to a terrorist could buy this kit and, in as little as 30 minutes, put together a lethal weapon. But not anymore."


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