Ghost guns, a focus of President Biden’s proposed gun controls, explained

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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) – One of President Joe Biden’s main focal points on today’s action: ‘ghost guns’.

While the term seems new to some, they’ve been around for several years.

Most guns can be made of steel, aluminum and other items. But weapons federal official describe as ‘ghost guns’ can be made from plastic pieces on 3D printers.

“Those are guns that don’t come through a regular manufacturing process,” says Cathy Mekus of Moms Demand Action-Kentucky.

“When it was initially sold, it was sold as parts. And someone has taken those parts and built a fully functional firearm,” adds Jeffery Hart of Union County United, a 2nd Amendment support group.

Ghost guns are guns that do not have serial numbers built onto their parts, can be composed of plastic parts. The parts themselves don’t have to be registered, and background checks aren’t required.

“The moment you complete your build, you’re supposed to notify ATF that you have constructed this firearm,” says Hart, who also served as a police officer in Union County for 40 years. “When the part comes in, or when you make the part, then it doesn’t have to be required to be registered.”

Hart says ghost guns haven’t been a problem in his community, and most who make them follow the law.

“It’s not that it hasn’t been happening for years, what he is trying to do is close that loophole for the criminal element, so they can’t homebrew a weapon and sell it on the black market,” he said, explaining what the law is trying to accomplish.

Mekus says ghost guns are a growing problem in other parts of the country. A study by Everytown Research, a gun safety group, shows more than 2,500 ghost guns were linked to 114 federal cases from 2010 to 2020.

“The police don’t have any way to figure out who on earth it was that had possession of that firearm to try to track down who their suspect is that they’re searching for,” Mekus says.

Hart says he does believe some groups like the NRA may challenge the announced actions in court.

(This story was originally published on April 8, 2021)

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