Supreme Court Engaged in Ghost Gun Case

( – The US Supreme Court has been urged by a coalition of local government organizations, attorneys general, leading police associations, law enforcement officers and advocates for gun control to uphold the federal government’s restrictions on ghost guns following a surge in their production. Ghost guns are firearms assembled from kits at home that are hard for law enforcement to track due to them lacking serial numbers.

Many ghost guns are made using 3D printers. The spread of 3D-printing technology has raised serious concerns about blueprints being used to create illegal firearms from home, and even the UK’s National Crime Agency has raised how “disturbingly easy” it now is to make firearms in this way despite the country’s stricter gun control measures. The NCA has called for the firearm blueprints to be made illegal.

3D-printed guns are classed as ghost guns that bypass regulations and laws regarding the purchase of firearms. The majority of guns in the US come from factories, but 3D-printing technology allows them to be made from home. Though no federal law exists that prohibits someone from producing or owning a 3D-printed gun, provided the person is legally allowed to own firearms, it must be possible for security screening equipment to detect 3D-printed guns under the Gun Control Act.

The coalition of organizations – which also includes the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Department of Justice – focuses on the federal “frame or receiver” regulation from 2022 that applies the same laws regarding manufactured guns to incomplete and 3D-printed guns. The law mandates background checks for those buying assembly kits for firearms, and requires those assembling guns at home to add serial numbers to the firearms.

Amicus briefs that were filed on July 2 claim that the Fifth Circuit made a mistake in scrapping the frame or receiver rule on ghost guns. The amici argued that the rule applies to efforts to monitor items that can be used to easily assemble firearms. The coalition emphasized that the law was essential to assist the efforts of states to protect the public and control ghost guns.

The respondents, who included the gun rights organization Firearms Policy Coalition, argued that the ATF’s law illegally broadens the definition of “firearm” beyond what was meant in the Gun Control Act.

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