SCOTUS to take up challenge to Biden admin’s ghost gun rule that group deems ‘abusive’

by Vern Evans

The Supreme Court announced Monday that it will hear a challenge to the Biden administration’s regulation on so-called “ghost guns” next term. 

The rule in question was issued in 2022 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to regulate “buy build shoot” kits that are available online or in stores that allow any individual to assemble a working firearm without a background check or the usual serial numbers required by the federal government.

The Fifth Circuit late last year struck down the rule, but the Justice Department appealed to the Supreme Court. The DOJ argued that the Gun Control Act of 1968 permits the rule because it defines a “firearm” to include “any weapon…which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive,” as well as “the frame or receiver of any such weapon.”

However, gun rights groups say that the rule is “unconstitutional and abusive.” 

SUPREME COURT ALLOWS CONTINUED REGULATION OF SO-CALLED ‘GHOST GUNS’

Firearms Policy Coalition President Brandon Combs, who is challenging the rule in court, said the group is “delighted that the Supreme Court will hear our case and decide this important issue once and for all.”

“The Fifth Circuit’s decision in our case was correct and now that victory can be applied to the entire country,” he said. 

The ATF’s rule requires unfinished parts of a firearm, like the frame of a handgun or the receiver of a long gun, to be treated like a completed firearm. These parts need to be licensed and must have serial numbers.

The rule also requires manufacturers to run background checks before selling these parts, as they are required to do for whole commercial firearms. The Biden administration argued the rule is necessary to respond to rising numbers of untraceable guns.

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3D printed ghost guns on display

The Justice Department had argued in court that local law enforcement agencies seized more than 19,000 ghost guns at crime scenes in 2021, a more than tenfold increase in just five years.

The Supreme Court had previously allowed the regulation to remain in effect while the lawsuit continued through the courts, with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Amy Coney Barrett voting with the three liberal members of the court to form the majority. 

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supreme court exterior

Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas said they would have kept the regulation on hold while the case made its way through the appeals process. 

Arguments in the case Garland v. Jennifer VanDerstok will be heard this fall.

The Associated Press and Fox News’ Bill Mears and Shannon Bream contributed to this report. 

Read the full article here

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