Ghost Guns: What they are and why they're targeted in President Biden's executive action

Ghost Gun
Posted at 6:32 PM, Apr 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-09 21:18:32-04

MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WTVF) — President Joe Biden plans to sign a series of executive orders to reduce gun violence. Most of his actions center around so-called "ghost guns."

Ryan Brooks, owner of KRB Firearms II and The Range in Mt. Juliet, says ghost guns are weapons that can't be traced. The most common examples are rifles that can be assembled through gun kits. "You can get them online with the jigs, with everything that shows you how to do it," said Brooks.

But while gun kits give hobbyists the freedom to customize, there's something specifically missing that scares federal investigators. "So a ghost gun would have no manufacturer on it, no serial number, no caliber, no markings at all," explained Brooks.

Brooks is quick to point out that most gun hobbyists are normal, law-abiding citizens. However, problems arise when these ghost guns are stolen or illegally sold. "You can report the firearm stolen but you’re not going to be able to give a serial number -- it does make it harder to track," he said.

According to the Associated Press, President Biden and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) are exploring ways to change the definition of a firearm to include lower receivers. A lower receiver is the part of the gun that houses the firing pin and trigger assembly.

By doing so, makers of gun kits would be required to include a serial number on the lower receiver.

Meanwhile, any threat of new gun control measures always means a boom in the gun business. "You’re going to see the prices go up, you’re going to see sales go up, if you have an AR pistol in stock, you’re going to see those go off the sales real quick," said Brooks.

But Brooks argues that too much demand makes it really hard to stock the shelves. "There have been multiple gun stores across the country close their doors because they couldn’t get inventory," he said.

If you ask him, all of these measures are a real misfire. "We’re still making stuff more stringent on the people who are abiding by the law instead of the criminals -- go after the criminals a little harder," said Brooks.

President Biden also hopes to tighten regulations on pistol stabilizing braces like the one used last month in a mass shooting in Boulder, CO.