After quietly announcing his intentions back in April, President Biden’s reform on kits to assemble your firearms went into effect on Aug 24th. Per the reform, these kits are now classified the same as off-the-shelf firearms, and as such, are subject to the same regulations.
This means kits now require serial numbers on the parts that these companies sell. Perspective buyers will need to undergo a background check, and federally licensed gun dealers will need to keep records of these sales for eternity, or they go out of business.
For many gun enthusiasts, these kits were like buying a crate motor, they got a chance to build it from the ground up and see how good they could do. In the case of competitive shooters, this meant no more having to extensively modify an off-the-shelf firearm but being able to have complete control from the start. Much like Legos, there are all sorts of accessories that can be used to build off one another.
Changing the rules this drastically is predominantly based on misinformation being perpetrated by the mainstream media and ignorant politicians who are making policy about a subject they know nothing about.
As much as they try to claim those who used these kit guns for evil would have been prevented or deterred from gun ownership with these new laws, much like those who used off-shelf firearms, they would have passed the background check. Simply put, these kits are cheaper, easier to have delivered, and raise fewer red flags. For the gang members using them for home invasions and other crimes, theirs aren’t coming through these kinds of channels. Rather, they are made and imported from overseas. No assembly, no problems.
David Pucino, deputy chief legal counsel for Giffords law center to prevent gun violence has been a big advocate for these laws. “[Ghost guns] are perfect for gun traffickers to put in the illegal market because they are more readily available at lower prices…The only people who will be affected by the rule are those who want to traffic them and can’t walk into a gun shop and get one because of their record.”
This group has been leading the lawsuits that forced this into the law. Going after kit manufacturers, and joining state and fed prosecutors in lawsuits, they want to eliminate this business model.
In response, many manufacturers have been suing to prevent the law from going into effect, and many have said that if they are not classified as firearms they will go out of business.
Then again, that might just be Biden’s whole idea here. By changing the laws and not grandfathering existing manufacturers, they can shut down numerous companies as these changes would bankrupt them. For many of them, it doesn’t make sense to change and comply with the law. Simple items like pistol grips, charging handles, or trigger guards shouldn’t be classified as firearms.
A radiator is not classified as a car. Neither are windshield wipers. The block of an engine has a VIN on it, much the same as full lower receivers have a serial number. But empty, they don’t need one. These new laws are changing all that up, and it’s not a pretty picture for this industry.
Pucino also said “The feds are not going to break doors down come Thursday. The lawsuits happen if push comes to shove if the industry responds in an egregious manner. This rule doesn’t mean the gun violence problem goes away but this is going to be a meaningful contribution if it’s implemented properly.”
With 17 states suing to prevent this law change from going into effect, it isn’t the great solution on the local level those who are out of touch think it will be.