‘It’s just basic common sense,’ says Biden, as his new rule aims to stop phantom guns
President Joe Biden on Monday defended his administration’s new phantom gun rule, pushing back against gun rights advocates who called it “extreme.”
These weapons do not have serial numbers, can be made at home from kits, and are increasingly used in crimes.
“Let me ask you, is it extreme to protect the police, extreme to protect our children?” the president said in a brief speech at the White House.
“Extreme to keep guns out of the hands of people who couldn’t even pass a background check?”
“It’s not extreme. It’s just basic common sense,” he added. “If you buy a sofa that you have to put together, it’s still a sofa.”
The rule targets makers of so-called buildable shooting kits, specifying that such kits are considered firearms, so companies must be licensed and include serial numbers on the frame or receiver of the kits, according to a statement from the White House. It also aims to turn some ghost guns into serialized firearms by requiring federally licensed dealers and gunsmiths who possess them to serialize the guns.
To see: Biden to appoint new ATF director, issue rule targeting ghost weapons
Biden has often advocated for gun control measures since taking office, saying in his State of the Union address last month that he would crack down on gun trafficking and phantom guns. In that speech, he also called on Congress to pass universal background checks and ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and he repeated those calls on Monday.
Extract from the archives (June 2021): Biden calls for united effort ‘to protect each other’ as he aims to tackle gun crime
Also (April 2021): ‘Enough prayers. It’s time to act’: Biden announces measures on gun control
In his remarks on Monday, Biden also introduced an Obama-era U.S. lawyer, Steve Dettlebach, as his new candidate for the leadership of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
In September, the White House withdrew its former ATF nominee, gun control lawyer David Chipman, after running into bipartisan opposition in the Senate.
The National Rifle Association voiced its objections to the administration’s new pick on Monday, with the gun rights group saying on his site“Like Chipman, Dettelbach is a dedicated weapons controller with a track record that proves he would be neither fair nor objective as ATF chief.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky was among Republican lawmakers who opposed Biden’s phantom gun plan, saying in a tweet that the US Constitution “does not authorize the federal government to prevent you from making your own firearm”.
Gun company stocks were mixed on Monday as the broader market fell sharply.
RGR stock from Sturm Ruger & Co.,
lost 0.3% and gained 4% in the last 12 months, and Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. SWBI,
edged up less than 0.1% and lost 18% in 12 months, while the S&P 500 SPX,
fell 1.4% and climbed 7% in 12 months.
Related: Smith & Wesson executives admit ‘pandemic surge’ in gun sales is over, stock takes a hit