US Supreme Court Upholds Restrictions on Untraceable 'Ghost Guns' Amid Ongoing Legal Battle
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US Supreme Court Upholds Restrictions on Untraceable ‘Ghost Guns’ Amid Ongoing Legal Battle

Efforts to control the proliferation of untraceable “ghost guns” have encountered a significant legal hurdle as the US Supreme Court decided to uphold restrictions while the White House appeals a Texas court ruling that prevented these DIY firearms from being classified as real firearms.

US Supreme Court Upholds Restrictions on Untraceable 'Ghost Guns' Amid Ongoing Legal Battle
Source: Fox News

Restrictions on Ghost Guns is Still On

The controversy surrounding “ghost guns” came to the forefront when a Texas court issued a ruling blocking a 2022 rule that required self-assembled firearm kits, known as “ghost guns,” to be equipped with serial numbers for traceability. Proponents of gun rights had filed a lawsuit to challenge the classification of these kits as firearms. However, in a recent 5-4 decision, the US Supreme Court has decided to maintain the existing restrictions on “ghost guns” while the White House pursues an appeal against the Texas court’s ruling. This temporary victory for gun control advocates comes as the Biden administration faces mounting pressure to address the issue of gun violence in the country.

What are “Ghost Guns”?

The concept of “ghost guns” revolves around firearm kits that can be assembled by individuals, sometimes utilizing 3D printing technology. These kits may lack serial numbers, making them difficult to trace. Notably, the kits had not previously been subjected to background checks during purchase. The Biden administration had introduced new regulations in August of the previous year with the intention of curbing the proliferation of “ghost guns.” These rules mandated that manufacturers of “buy build shoot” kits must be licensed and include serial numbers on the kits’ frame or receiver. Additionally, businesses selling these kits were required to hold federal licenses. However, US District Judge Reed O’Connor in Texas ruled that the Biden administration had overstepped its authority as outlined in the 1968 Gun Control Act by classifying “buy build shoot” kits as firearms. This judicial decision prompted the White House to appeal the ruling.

The Problem of Unregistered Firearms is Growing

The White House’s concern stems from the need to address the growing problem of unregistered firearms. An alarming statistic highlights that during criminal investigations in 2021, authorities discovered approximately 20,000 suspected ghost guns. This marked a tenfold increase from figures recorded five years prior. The prevalence of firearms in the US is well-documented, with the nation having more firearms per capita than any other country. This alarming fact coincides with the sobering statistic that over 48,800 Americans succumbed to gun-related injuries in 2021 alone, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

US Supreme Court Upholds Restrictions on Untraceable 'Ghost Guns' Amid Ongoing Legal Battle
Source: NBC News


What Next?

The US Supreme Court’s rulings have consistently expanded individual gun rights in recent years. In the previous year, the court affirmed that the US Constitution safeguards an individual’s right to carry a handgun in public for self-defense purposes. In the upcoming session commencing in October, the Supreme Court is slated to hear a case concerning whether individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders should be permitted to retain their firearms. Given the divisive nature of gun control issues in Congress, President Biden and his Democratic allies have resorted to alternative measures to strengthen gun regulations. This approach includes executive actions like the regulations on “ghost guns,” as well as the enactment of laws at state and local levels, particularly in regions where the Democratic Party commands legislative majorities.


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