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 August 3, 2023

Biden administration petitioning Supreme Court to block ruling to invalidate registries for so-called "ghost guns"

President Joe Biden's administration has urged the Supreme Court to block a lower court's ruling that would invalidate registries for so-called "ghost guns," the Conservative Brief reported. Biden targeted the weapons as part of his gun grab attempt.

Ghost guns are assembled from kits rather than manufactured and therefore were not previously regulated and registered as other weapons. The Biden administration has gone after them on the basis that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms has been tasked with tracing an increasing number of these weapons.

According to its records, the ATF traced 19,000 ghost guns in 2021, up from just 1,600 in 2017. However, Biden's attempt to regulate them via the ATF has run up against several challenges in court.

Now a case that went before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has limited the regulation after some aspects were struck down. However, the Department of Justice is now asking the Supreme Court to put a hold on the decision while the case is being litigated.

The high court will decide on two provisions in particular. The first question is whether a kit constitutes a "firearm" as defined by federal law, and the other is the definition of "frame or receiver" as it relates to the parts before assembly into a functional firearm.

The new regulation would require tracking efforts such as background checks, recording serial numbers, and other information for these do-it-yourself weapons. A federal court in Texas previously deemed the new law as beyond the scope of the authority of the ATF.

The matter went before Justice Samuel Alito, who handles emergency motions in the 5th Circuit. The conservative justice gave opponents of the law one week to respond to the Biden administration's request.

"The district court’s universal vacatur is irreparably harming the public and the government by reopening the floodgates to the tide of untraceable ghost guns flowing into our Nation’s communities," the request from the Justice Department stated. "Once those guns are sold, the damage is done: Some will already be in the hands of criminals and other prohibited persons — and when they are inevitably used in crimes, they are untraceable."

Other parties objecting to the rule include two gun advocacy groups, two owners of these guns, and five companies involved in the distribution or production of firearms. An attorney of the advocacy groups praised the court's decision to stop the rule.

"We’re elated that the Fifth Circuit has seen through ATF’s unpersuasive arguments and has determined that ATF failed to show it is likely to win on appeal," Firearms Policy Coalition attorney Cody J. Wisniewski said. "ATF lost at the district court and has now lost its first bite at the Fifth Circuit; we look forward to continuing to win against ATF’s unlawful and unconstitutional gun control regime," he continued.

The Justice Department was not pleased with Alito's decision, however. "Every speaker of English would recognize that a tax on sales of ‘bookshelves’ applies to IKEA when it sells boxes of parts and the tools and instructions for assembling them into bookshelves," the DOJ wrote.

"The court’s insistence on treating guns differently contradicts ordinary usage and makes a mockery of Congress’s careful regulatory scheme," the Biden administration asserted. The matter will now either be heard by the Supreme Court or the lower court's decision will be blocked completely.

The administration has a point that if some guns are regulated, all should be regulated in the same way. However, that philosophy flies in the face of the Second Amendment protections afforded in the Constitution.

Americans have a right to firearms, and any restriction on that right should be as narrow as possible. Instead, the Biden administration has made yet another attempt to take as many weapons away as possible.

Written By:
Christine Favocci

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