September 01, 2022
The new ATF rule on so-called “ghost guns,” actually 80 percent receivers that have been legal since they were first marketed, has taken effect, greatly curtailing the ability of law-abiding Americans to craft their own firearms.
And while President Joe Biden and anti-gun advocates have been promising to crackdown on so-called “ghost guns” for quite some time, the new rule actually does much more and is quite burdensome.
While not actually putting a ban on making or possessing unserialized, personally made firearms, it does redefine important legal terms dealing with guns, including “firearm,” “receiver” and frame. All gun owners would be wise to read the new rule.
As NRA-ILA mentioned in a recent news item, not only gun owners but also manufacturers will be negatively affected by the rule.
“The rule creates a number of logistical headaches for manufacturers, who will have to interpret and apply its minutiae and ambiguities, likely with little aid from ATF, which is notoriously stingy with help in complying with the law and which regularly reverses its own determinations anyway,” the organization wrote.
The Firearms Policy Coalition, a group dedicated to fighting unconstitutional gun laws in the courts, has already filed a lawsuit challenging the new rule.
“The final rule defies the plain language of the [Gun Control Act] and longstanding agency interpretation suggesting that the items at issue here, sometimes colloquially referred to as receiver blanks, unfinished frames or receivers, or 80 percent frames or receivers, are not firearms,” reads the complaint. “Through this rulemaking, however, the agencies are attempting to create a broad, sweeping definition by including items that are not yet the ‘frames or receivers’ of such weapons and by including ‘frame or receiver kits.’”
Cody J. Wisniewski, FPC’s senior attorney for constitutional litigation, said the entire process used in changing the definitions is both flawed and grossly unconstitutional.
“Neither the president nor any federal agency has the power to make law,” Wisniewski said. “The Constitution is clear—Congress has the power to make law, and the executive branch is limited to enforcing that law. But here, President Biden openly admitted that he would circumvent Congress and have the DOJ and ATF issue new regulations that go well beyond congressionally established law and seek to greatly expand the ATF’s reach. FPC will not stand idly by while the federal government tramples the rights of peaceable individuals through agency rulemaking.”
What many who get their news from the so-called “mainstream” media don’t understand is that Americans have been making and crafting their own firearms since before the Constitution was even written. Doing so is as essential to the right of American citizens to keep and bear arms as is purchasing serialized firearms from licensed dealers.
In the end, requiring various different gun parts to be serialized has the effect of making it much easier to force registration of such guns should the government at some point decide to institute such an illegal registry. And since registration always leads to confiscation, that, in fact, is why many lawful Americans have chosen to legally make such firearms in the first place.
About the Author
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for more than 20 years.